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Exp Eye Res. 1990 Jul;51(1):27-32.

Effects of long-term diabetes and galactosaemia upon lens and retinal mRNA levels in the rat.

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Jefferson Institute of Molecular Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA 19107.


The levels of mRNAs encoding the alpha 1 chain of collagen IV and the B1 chain of laminin were assayed in the lenses and retinas of long-term (28-week) diabetic and galactosaemic rats in order to gain some insight into the effects on basement membrane (BM) synthesis in these tissues. mRNAs coding for beta-actin, glucose transporter protein and the alpha 2 catalytic subunit of Na+,K(+)-ATPase were also assayed to determine whether any effects on BM-coding mRNA levels were specific. Long-term diabetes had no significant effect on the levels of alpha 1 (IV) collagen mRNA but caused a significant reduction in the laminin B1 message in the lens. In the same samples, the level of the glucose transporter protein mRNA was found to be elevated significantly in the diabetic tissue, whereas the mRNAsen coding beta-actin and alpha 2 Na+,K(+)-ATPase were unaffected in comparison with age-matched controls. Long-term galactosaemia resulted in significant increases in the levels of all mRNAs assayed when expressed per micrograms total RNA used for each analysis. However, this effect appeared to be due to a specific loss of ribosomal RNA from these severely cataractous lenses. When related to the beta-actin mRNA internal control, the levels of mRNA in the galactosaemic lenses were very similar to that found in the diabetics. Laminin B1 mRNA levels were decreased significantly.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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