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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2001 Dec;42(13):3287-93.

Evidence for pigment epithelium-derived factor receptors in the neural retina.

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Laboratory of Retinal Cell and Molecular Biology, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Building 6, 6 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892-2740, USA.



The neurotrophic activity of pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), an extracellular factor present in the retina, is mediated by binding to cell-surface receptors in responsive cell cultures. In the present study, the expression of PEDF receptors in native neural retinas from adult steers was examined.


Binding reactions were performed with (125)I-PEDF and fluoresceinated PEDF using plasma membranes, detergent-soluble membrane proteins, or cryosections of retina from adult bovine eyes. Radioligand-binding and competition analyses were performed with a computer-assisted program. Ligand blot analysis of detergent-soluble membrane proteins was performed with (125)I-PEDF followed by autoradiography. Ligand-affinity column chromatography of detergent-soluble membrane proteins was performed with PEDF-coupled resin followed by SDS-PAGE. Binding of fluoresceinated PEDF to retina cryosections was detected by confocal microscopy.


Radioligand-binding assays showed that (125)I-PEDF bound in a specific and saturable fashion to one class of sites on retina membranes (K(d) = 2.5-6.5 nM; maximum binding [B(max)] = 1-48 x 10(10) sites/retina). A peptide of 44 amino acids (44-mer), identified as the receptor-binding region of PEDF, competed efficiently for (125)I-PEDF binding to retina membranes with kinetics similar to the full-length PEDF. Ligand blot analysis and ligand-affinity chromatography revealed a specific and high-affinity PEDF-binding protein of approximately 85 kDa in retina plasma membranes. Confocal microscopy showed that fluorescein-conjugated PEDF stained exclusively the inner segments of photoreceptors and cells of the ganglion cell layer in retinal cryosections.


Altogether, these data conclusively demonstrate the existence of PEDF receptors discretely distributed on the surface of cells from the adult neural retina of bovine eyes. Furthermore, they provide evidence for the direct action of PEDF on photoreceptor and ganglion cell neurons and an anatomic basis for studies to assess PEDF neurotrophic effects on the adult retina.

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