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Neurobiol Dis. 2000 Jun;7(3):212-23.

Adenovirus-mediated expression of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) rescues axotomized rat retinal ganglion cells but does not support axonal regeneration in vivo.

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Department of Neurology, University of Tübingen Medical School, Tübingen, D-72076, Germany.


Rat optic nerve (ON) transection leads to mainly apoptotic cell death of about 85% of the retinal ganglion cell (RGC) population within 14 days after lesion. In the present study, we tested the effect of adenovirally delivered CNTF (Ad-CNTF) on survival and regeneration of axotomized adult RGCs in vivo. Single intravitreal Ad-CNTF injection led to stable CNTF mRNA and protein expression for at least 18 days and significantly enhanced RGC survival by 155% when compared to control animals 14 days after ON transection. ON stump application of Ad-CNTF also resulted in an increased number of surviving RGCs. Ad-CNTF injection led to better preservation of intraretinal RGC axons but did not support regeneration of axotomized RGCs into a peripheral nerve graft. Thus, adenovirus-mediated neurotrophic factor supply is a suitable approach for reducing axotomy-induced RGC death in vivo and may constitute a relevant strategy for clinical treatment of traumatic brain injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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