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Diabetes Care. 2002 Jun;25(6):1060-5.

Neurotrophic factor receptors in epiretinal membranes after human diabetic retinopathy.

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Department of Degenerative Neurological Diseases, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Kodaira, Tokyo, Japan.



Formation of epiretinal membranes (ERMs) in the posterior fundus results in progressive deterioration of vision. ERMs have been associated with numerous clinical conditions, including proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), but its pathogenic mechanisms are still unknown. This study was conducted to determine whether neurotrophic factor receptors (tyrosine kinase receptors trkA, trkB, and trkC; low-affinity neurotrophin [NT] receptor p75 [p75(NTR)]; glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor receptor-alpha1 [GFR alpha 1] and GFR alpha 2; and Ret) are involved in the formation of ERMs after PDR.


ERM samples were obtained by vitrectomy from 19 subjects with PDR aged 57 +/- 8 years with 17 +/- 8 years of diabetes and 15 subjects with idiopathic ERM. They were processed for RT-PCR analysis. In addition, 11 ERM samples from PDR patients aged 47 +/- 18 years with 13 +/- 4 years of diabetes were processed for immunohistochemical analysis.


Expressions of trkA, trkB, trkC, p75(NTR), and Ret mRNAs were similar in both groups. In contrast, GFR alpha 2 expression levels were significantly higher (17 of 19 vs. 2 of 15 subjects in idiopathic ERM, P < 0.0001) in PDR subjects. Accordingly, immunohistochemical analysis revealed expression of GFR alpha 2 protein in all of the 11 ERMs derived from PDR patients, and that region was double-labeled with glial cell-specific markers. On the other hand, GFR alpha 1 expression was lower (8 of 19 vs. 12 of 15 subjects with idiopathic ERM, P = 0.0258) in PDR subjects.


These results suggest a possibility that glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor receptor (GDNF) subtypes are differently involved in the formation of ERMs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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