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Int J Ophthalmol. 2017 Oct 18;10(10):1510-1515. doi: 10.18240/ijo.2017.10.05. eCollection 2017.

Expressions of nestin and glial fibrillary acidic protein in rat retina after optic nerve transection.

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Department of Medicine Technology Optometry, Xi'an Medical College, Xi'an 710021, Shaanxi Province, China.
Department of Ophthalmology, No.451 Hospitial of Chinese PLA, Xi'an 710054, Shaanxi Province, China.



To assess the expression of nestin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in rat retina after optic nerve transection.


Rats were randomly divided into normal control group, sham group and operation group, and used for establishing an animal model of optic nerve transection. Retinal specimen of each group was collected at 3, 48h, 7 and 14d postoperative. Nestin and GFAP expressions on sagittal sections were analyzed by immunohistochemical staining, and protein extraction was analyzed by Western blot.


Immunohistochemical analysis showed that nestin positive staining was rarely detected in normal control group and sham group, while sham group showed weak positive staining at 3h postoperative, the reaction gradually increased at 48h postoperative, and reached its maximum at 7d postoperative, and then decreased at 14d postoperative. Compared to the expression of GFAP, there was not statistically significant obvious difference among three groups (P>0.05). Result of Western blot method was consistent with that of immunohistochemical method.


The expression of nestin increased in a time dependent fashion in Müller cells of retina following optic nerve transection, which was statistically significant, but there was no obvious difference in GFAP expression. The results indicate that an increase in colloid synthesis in retina following optic nerve transection can improve the retinal neurons' environment.


Müller cells; glial fibrillary acidic protein; nestin; optic nerve transection; rats

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