The large majority of mammalian retinal ganglion cells degenerate following section of their axons in the optic nerve. It has been suggested that some axotomized retinal ganglion cells die because of toxic agents produced within their immediate environment. Our hypothesis was that nitric oxide might be one of the toxic factors implicated in the death of adult retinal ganglion cells post‐axotomy. In the first instance, we determined whether there were any changes in the retinal expression of NADPH diaphorase both 3 and 14 days following intraorbital section of the optic nerve in adult rats. Secondly, if nitric oxide was indeed implicated in the death of ganglion cells, then trophic factors which rescue these neurons might do so by decreasing the expression of nitric oxide synthase. Recently, we found that a collicular proteoglycan purified from the major target of retinal ganglion cells, the superior colliculus, rescued a greater proportion of adult ganglion cells from axotomy‐induced death than most other known trophic factors. We thus injected this proteoglycan intraocularly after section of the optic nerve and examined its effect on the expression of NADPH diaphorase in the retina. Thirdly, an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthetase was repeatedly injected into the eye following the section of the optic nerve in order to determine if such a treatment might improve the survival of retinal ganglion cells. The present results indicate that section of the optic nerve does not alter the overall levels of NADPH diaphorase within the adult rat retina. Intraocular injections of the collicular proteoglycan actually increased the number of neurons expressing NADPH diaphorase, particularly in the ganglion cell layer. Finally, inhibition of nitric oxide synthetase following axotomy resulted in increased loss of retinal ganglion cells over a 2 week period when compared with controls. Our findings indicate that, rather than being toxic, small amounts of nitric oxide may be important for the survival of a proportion of injured retinal ganglion cells.
European Journal of Neuroscience – Wiley
Published: Nov 1, 1995
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera