Expression of neurotransmitters and neurotrophins in neurogenic inflammation of the rat retina


Antidromic stimulation of the rat trigeminal ganglion triggers the release of substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) from sensory nerve terminals of the capsaicin sensitive C-fibers. These pro-inflammatory neuropeptides produce a marked hyperemia in the anterior segment of the eye, accompanied by increased intraocular pressure, breakdown of the blood-aqueous barrier and myosis. To assess the effects of neurogenic inflammation on the retina, specifically on the immunostaining of neurotransmitters and neurotrophins, as well as on the expression of neurotrophin receptors in the retina. RT-PCR was also accomplished in control and stimulated animals to confirm the immunohistochemical results. In the electrically stimulated eyes, immunostaining for SP, CGRP, VIP and nNOS demonstrated a marked increase in the RPE/POS (Retinal Pigment Epithelium/Photoreceptor Outer Segments), in the inner and outer granular layers and in the ganglion cells in comparison to the control eyes. CGRP and SP were found increased in stimulated animals and this result has been confirmed by RT- PCR. Changes in neurotrophin immunostaining and in receptor expression were also observed after electric stimulation of trigeminal ganglia. Decrease of BDNF and NT4 in the outer and inner layers and in ganglion cells was particularly marked. In stimulated rat retinas immunostaining and RT-PCR showed a NGF expression increase. Neurotrophin receptors remained substantially unchanged. These studies demonstrated, for the first time, that antidromic stimulation of the trigeminal ganglion and subsequent neurogenic inflammation affect immunostaining of retinal cell neurotransmitter/ neuropeptides and neurotrophins as well as the expression of neurotrophin receptors.



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How to Cite
Bronzetti, E., Artico, M., Kovacs, I., & Felici, L. (2009). Expression of neurotransmitters and neurotrophins in neurogenic inflammation of the rat retina. European Journal of Histochemistry, 51(4), 251-260.