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Neuroreport. 2000 Dec 18;11(18):3963-7.

Modulated expression of secreted frizzled-related proteins in human retinal degeneration.

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Division of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, The Rayne Institute, GKT, St Thomas' Hospital, London, UK.


Inherited retinal degenerations such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) are characterized by progressive loss of photoreceptors, apparently by apoptosis, and our recent report of increased secreted Frizzled-related protein-2 (SFRP2) in RP retinas suggests altered Wnt signalling may be a component of the degenerative process. The present study shows that levels of SFRPI, SFRP3 and SFRP5 mRNAs are also abnormal in RP, giving rise to idiosyncratic expression patterns. In highly degenerative retinas, the SFRP proteins localize mainly to the inner limiting membrane, but in a well-preserved retina SFRPI and SFRP5 are notably localized to the surviving photoreceptors. Together with increased c-jun mRNA expression in all cases examined, these results support the notion that disruptions of Wnt network signalling are involved retinal neurodegeneration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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