Decrease of cone opsin mRNA in experimental ocular hypertension.

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53704, USA.
Molecular vision (Impact Factor: 1.99). 02/2006; 12:1272-82.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study was designed to test the hypothesis that photoreceptors are adversely affected in glaucoma. As a measure of this effect, we examined the levels of rod opsin, and red/green and blue cone opsin mRNAs in monkeys with experimental ocular hypertension and glaucoma and in human eyes from donors with diagnosed glaucoma.
Experimental ocular hypertension was induced in one eye of 19 cynomolgous and 2 rhesus monkeys by laser ablation of the trabecular meshwork. In 15 monkeys, the elevated IOP was reduced by trabeculectomy. When the animals had experienced prolonged elevations of IOP (128 to 260 days), they were killed and the eyes enucleated. Fresh retinal tissue from the macula, inferotemporal retina (mid-peripheral), and far peripheral regions were harvested from some animals using a 3 mm trephine. The remaining retinas from these monkeys, and whole retinas from other animals were fixed. RNA isolated from each trephined sample was used for RNase Protection Analysis or real time PCR analysis to quantify opsin mRNA levels from different photoreceptor cell types. Fixed tissue was used for in situ hybridization studies. Human donor eyes (7 glaucoma and 4 control) were obtained from eye banks. All human specimens were used for in situ hybridization studies.
Quantitative mRNA analysis and in situ hybridization studies both showed a reduction in the expression of red/green and blue cone opsin mRNAs in 6 monkey eyes with chronic ocular hypertension, relative to the contralateral eye. No loss of rod opsin mRNA was observed. The principal reduction occurred in cells of the mid-peripheral retina, a region of retina that often shows early and progressive damage in humans with glaucoma. In monkeys with ocular hypertension followed by trabeculectomy, there was a similar decrease in cone opsin mRNAs, but only in six out of fifteen (40%) of the monkeys. The decrease in these animals was correlated with a significantly elevated IOP at some time during the 2 weeks prior to euthanization and not with the extent of glaucomatous damage. Of the 7 human eyes with diagnosed glaucoma that were examined, 5 showed a decrease of cone opsin mRNA in the mid-peripheral retina, whereas none of the 4 normal eyes examined showed a decrease.
Ocular hypertension leading to glaucoma also affects the outer retina, particularly the cone photoreceptors. We speculate that these cells become stressed leading to a disruption in the expression of normal genes, such as that encoding opsin. There is some evidence that this effect is reversible, when IOP levels are reduced.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Outer retinal injury has been well-described in glaucoma. To better understand the source of this injury, we wanted to develop a reliable model of partial retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axotomy. METHODS: Endodiathermy spots were placed along the inferior 180° adjacent to the optic nerve margin in the right eyes of 4 cynomolgus monkeys. Fluorescein angiography, spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and multifocal electroretinography (mfERG) were performed at various intervals. 2 animals were sacrificed at 3 months. 2 animals were sacrificed at 4 months at which time they underwent an injection of fluorescent microspheres to measure regional choroidal blood flow. Retinal immunohistochemistry for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), rhodopsin, S-cone opsin and M/L-cone opsin were performed as were axon counts of the optic nerves. RESULTS: At 3 months, there was marked thinning of the inferior nerve fiber layer on SD-OCT. The mfERG waveforms were consistent with inner but not outer retinal injury. Greater than 95% reduction in axons was seen in the inferior optic nerves but no secondary degeneration superiorly. There was marked thinning of the nerve fiber and ganglion cell layers in the inferior retinas. However, the photoreceptor histology was similar in the axotomized and non-axotomized areas. Regional choroidal blood flow was not affected by the axotomy. CONCLUSIONS: Unlike experimental glaucoma, hemiretinal endodiathermy axotomy (HEA) of the RGCs produces no apparent anatomic, functional or blood flow effects on the outer retina and choroid.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 04/2013; · 3.43 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Purpose/aim: The aim of the study was to investigate the long-term functional changes that may occur in the retina and visual cortex in a rat ocular hypertension (OHT) model of glaucoma, used in our lab for treatment studies, using electroretinogram (ERG) and visual-evoked potential (VEP) cortical recordings in order to test the hypothesis that experimental glaucoma has differential retinal and central effects. Materials and methods: Experimental glaucoma was induced unilaterally in Dark Agouti rats using hypertonic saline injection into the episcleral veins. After 3, 8, 16 and 26 weeks, ERGs and VEPs were recorded under scotopic conditions using brief full-field white flashes (10 μcd s m(-2) to 10.4 cd s m(-2)) and under photopic conditions using a rod-adapting background and white light flashes (0.13-10.4 cd s m(-2)). Results: At 16 and 26 weeks after OHT induction, there was a significant reduction in the amplitudes of the a- (50% and 30% of unoperated eye values, respectively) and b-waves (55% and 40%, respectively) of the scotopic ERG and the b-waves of the photopic ERG (55% and 45%, respectively) in the glaucomatous eyes. However, no significant changes in the VEPs simultaneously recorded over the visual cortex were seen at any of the time points. Conclusions: The reductions in ERG amplitudes suggest that this model of glaucoma not only causes retinal ganglion cell (RGC) degeneration but also degeneration of the outer retinal cells, and this was confirmed by histology showing a reduction in the outer retinal layers in the glaucomatous eyes. Cortical VEPs did not show detrimental effects suggesting that the retinal damage in this model was not extensive enough to be detected with the VEP methods used or that there could be central compensation in this model of glaucoma.
    Current eye research 11/2013; · 1.51 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The protein optineurin coded by OPTN gene is involved in several functions including regulation of endocytic trafficking, autophagy and signal transduction. Certain missense mutations in the gene OPTN cause normal tension glaucoma. A glaucoma-causing mutant of optineurin, E50K, induces death selectively in retinal cells. This mutant induces defective endocytic recycling of transferrin receptor by causing inactivation of Rab8 mediated by the GTPase-activating protein, TBC1D17. Here, we have explored the mechanism of E50K-induced cell death. E50K-OPTN-induced cell death was inhibited by co-expression of a catalytically inactive mutant of TBC1D17 and also by shRNA mediated knockdown of TBC1D17. Endogenous TBC1D17 colocalized with E50K-OPTN in vesicular structures. Co-expression of transferrin receptor partially protected against E50K-induced cell death. Overexpression of the E50K-OPTN but not WT-OPTN inhibited autophagy flux. Treatment of cells with rapamycin, an inducer of autophagy, reduced E50K-OPTN-induced cell death. An LC3-binding-defective mutant of E50K-OPTN showed reduced cell death, further suggesting the involvement of autophagy. TBC1D17 localized to autophagosomes and inhibited autophagy flux dependent on its catalytic activity. Knockdown of TBC1D17 rescued cells from E50K-mediated inhibition of autophagy flux. Overall, our results suggest that E50K mutant induced death of retinal cells involves impaired autophagy as well as impaired transferrin receptor function. TBC1D17, a GTPase-activating protein for Rab GTPases, plays a crucial role in E50K-induced impaired autophagy and cell death.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(4):e95758. · 3.73 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 31, 2014