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Differential neuroglycan C expression during retinal degeneration in Rpe65−/− mice

Authors
Publisher
Molecular Vision
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Research Article
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine

Abstract

Purpose An increased mRNA expression of the genes coding for the extracellular matrix proteins neuroglycan C (NGC), interphotoreceptor matrix proteoglycan 2 (IMPG2), and CD44 antigen (CD44) has been observed during retinal degeneration in mice with a targeted disruption of the Rpe65 gene (Rpe65−/− mouse). To validate these data, we analyzed this differential expression in more detail by characterizing retinal NGC mRNA isoform and protein expression during disease progression. Methods Retinas from C57/Bl6 wild-type and Rpe65−/− mice, ranging 2 to 18 months of age, were used. NGC, IMPG2, and CD44 mRNA expression was assessed by oligonucleotide microarray, quantitative PCR, and in situ hybridization. Retinal NGC protein expression was analyzed by western blot and immunohistochemistry. Results As measured by quantitative PCR, mRNA expression of NGC and CD44 was induced by about 2 fold to 3 fold at all time points in Rpe65−/− retinas, whereas initially 4 fold elevated IMPG2 mRNA levels progressively declined. NGC and IMPG2 mRNAs were expressed in the ganglion cell layer, the inner nuclear layer, and at the outer limiting membrane. NGC mRNA was also detected in retinal pigment epithelium cells (RPE), where its mRNA expression was not induced during retinal degeneration. NGC-I was the major isoform detected in the retina and the RPE, whereas NGC-III was barely detected and NGC-II could not be assessed. NGC protein expression was at its highest levels on the apical membrane of the RPE. NGC protein levels were induced in retinas from 2- and 4-month-old Rpe65−/− mice, and an increased amount of the activity-cleaved NGC ectodomain containing an epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like domain was detected. Conclusions During retinal degeneration in Rpe65−/− mice, NGC expression is induced in the neural retina, but not in the RPE, where NGC is expressed at highest levels.

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