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Regulation of GDNF and its receptor components GFR-alpha1, -alpha2 and Ret during development and in the mature retino-collicular pathway.

Authors: Kretz, A  Jacob, AM  Tausch, S  Straten, G  Isenmann, S 
Citation: Kretz A, etal., Brain Res. 2006 May 23;1090(1):1-14. Epub 2006 May 2.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:16650834
DOI: Full-text: DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2006.01.131

The development of the retino-tectal projection as part of the central visual pathway is accomplished around postnatal day (P) 10-14 in rodents, and trophic factors are important for topographic refinement of this projection. Emerging data indicate that GDNF may influence synaptic plasticity of this projection. To date, maturation-dependent kinetics of GDNF release and expression and biological function of single GDNF receptors along the retino-collicular pathway are ill-defined. Here, we examined mRNA and protein expression of GDNF and its multicomponent receptor complex in the retina and superior colliculus (SC) during postnatal development of the rat visual system, and after optic nerve (ON) injury by RT-PCR, immunoblotting and immunofluorescence. Stable mRNA transcription of GDNF and its receptors GFR-alpha1, -alpha2 and Ret was found in retina and SC throughout development into adulthood and after ON transection. Expression of GDNF protein increased during retinal development, declined in adulthood and was further reduced in injured retina. In the SC, GDNF peaked at P0, continuously declined with maturation, and was undetectable in the deafferentiated SC. GFR-alpha1 was abundant in retina and SC throughout, while GFR-alpha2 was not expressed. Since Ret was localized primarily to the vascular compartment, the receptor tyrosine kinase may play a minor role in neuronal GDNF signaling. In summary, we provide evidence for GDNF as survival and guidance factor during development of the retino-tectal projection with differential regulation in early and premature retina and SC. Postlesionally, midbrain targets do not induce GDNF, suggesting that retrograde GDNF is not essential for rescue of adult injured retinal ganglion cells (RGCs).


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CRRD Object Information
CRRD ID: 2324945
Created: 2010-05-17
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2010-05-17
Status: ACTIVE


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