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PACAP for Retinal Health: Model for Cellular Aging and Rescue

Authors
  • Pöstyéni, Etelka1
  • Kovács-Valasek, Andrea1
  • Dénes, Viktória1
  • Mester, Adrienn1
  • Sétáló, György Jr.2
  • Gábriel, Róbert1, 2
  • 1 (A.M.)
  • 2 János Szenthágotai Research Centre, 7624 Pécs, Hungary
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Jan 05, 2021
Volume
22
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/ijms22010444
PMID: 33466261
PMCID: PMC7796228
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Retinal aging is the result of accumulating molecular and cellular damage with a manifest decline in visual functions. Somatostatin (SST) and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) have been implicated in neuroprotection through regulating disparate aspects of neuronal activity (survival, proliferation and renewal). The aim of the present study was to validate a transgenic model for SST-expressing amacrine cells and to investigate the chronic effect of PACAP on the aging of SSTergic and dopaminergic cells of the retina. SST-tdTomato transgenic mice that were 6, 12 and 18 months old were treated intravitreally with 100 pmol of PACAP every 3 months. The density of SST and dopaminergic amacrine cells was assessed in whole-mounted retinas. Cells displaying the transgenic red fluorescence were identified as SST-immunopositive amacrine cells. By comparing the three age groups. PACAP treatment was shown to induce a moderate elevation of cell densities in both the SST and dopaminergic cell populations in the 12- and 18-month-old animals. By contrast, the control untreated and saline-treated retinas showed a minor cell loss. In conclusion, we report a reliable transgenic model for examining SSTergic amacrine cells. The fundamental novelty of this study is that PACAP could increase the cell density in matured retinal tissue, anticipating new therapeutic potential in age-related pathological processes.

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