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Cellular and subcellular localization of heme oxygenase-2 in monkey retina.

  • Ma, Ning
  • Ding, Xiaohui
  • Doi, Motoaki
  • Izumi, Nana
  • Semba, Reiji
Published Article
Journal of neurocytology
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2004
PMID: 15520526


Carbon monoxide (CO), an activator of soluble guanylate cyclase (SGC) and generated enzymatically by heme oxygenases (HO), is considered to function as an intra- and intercellular neuromodulator or neurotransmitter in the central and peripheral nervous systems. HO-2 is the constitutive isoform of HO and is more prevalent in nervous tissues than in the other peripheral tissues. Because previous studies have demonstrated different distributions of HO-2 in the retina depending on the species of animals, the aim of this study was to identify which cell types of the monkey retina express HO-2. The expression of HO-2 protein was examined in monkey retina by Western blot analysis. Immunoblottings from monkey homogenates revealed a single clear protein band with a molecular mass of 36 kDa that is corresponding to rat HO-2. Immunoreactivity of HO-2 was found in the perikarya of ganglion cells. Density of immunoreactive ganglion cells was higher in the central area of retina than in the peripheral retina, and somata of larger ganglion cells were stained more densely than smaller ones. In electron microscopy, immunoreactivity of HO-2 was localized on the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum and the nuclear outer membrane of the ganglion cells. By contrast, inner plexiform layer, inner nuclear layer and outer nuclear layer were devoid of HO-2 immunoreactivity. cGMP were strongly localized in all of ganglion cells. Some cells contributed to the relatively faint cGMP staining were seen in the inner nuclear layer. In combination of HO-2 and cGMP immunocytochemistry, the overlap of co-localization of HO-2 and cGMP would suggest that HO-2 in the ganglion cells would serve as a source for CO generation and CO could serve as a gaseous signaling molecule modulator of neural activity in the retina of monkey.

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