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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Vincent Ciavatta Research Service (151 Oph) Atlanta VA Medical Center 1670 Clairmont Rd. Decatur, GA 30033 404-321-6111 X17578 Fax: 404-417-2971 vciavat@emory.edu


Research Funding:

Supported by Department of Veterans Affairs, Foundation Fighting Blindness, Research to Prevent Blindness, NEI R01EY016470, R24EY017045, P30EY0636. Go to:

Retinal Expression of Fgf2 in RCS Rats with Subretinal Microphotodiode Array


Journal Title:

Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science


Volume 50, Number 10


, Pages 4523-4530

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Purpose Test the hypothesis that subretinal electrical stimulation from a microphotodiode array (MPA) exerts a neuroprotective effect in RCS rats through the induction of growth factors. Methods RCS rats were divided into four groups at P21 in which one eye per rat received treatment: (A) active MPA, (M) minimally-active MPA, (S) sham surgery, or (C) no surgery and the opposite eye was unoperated. Dark- and light-adapted ERGs were recorded one week after surgery. A second set of A-, M-, and C-treated RCS rats had weekly ERG recordings for 4 weeks. Real-time RT-PCR was used to measure relative expression of mRNAs (Bdnf, Fgf2, Fgf1, Cntf, Gdnf, and Igf1) in retina samples collected 2 days after the final ERG. Results One week after surgery, there was a slight difference in dark-adapted ERG b-wave at the brightest flash intensity. Mean retinal Fgf2 expression in the treated eye relative to the opposite eye was greatest for the A group (4.67 +/−0.72) compared to the M group (2.80 +/−0.45, p=0.0501), S group (2.03 +/−0.45, p<0.01), and C group (1.30 +/−0.22, p<0.001). No significant change was detected for Bdnf, Cntf, Fgf1, Gdnf, and Igf1. Four weeks after surgery, the A group had significantly larger dark- and light-adapted ERG b-waves compared to the M and C groups (p<0.01). Simultaneously, mean relative Fgf2 expression was again greatest for the A group (3.28 +/−0.61) compared to the M (1.28 +/− 0.32, p<0.05) and C groups (1.05 +/−0.04, p<0.05). Conclusion The results show subretinal implantation of an MPA induces selective expression of Fgf2 above that expected from a retina-piercing injury. Preservation of ERG b-wave amplitude 4 weeks after implantation is accompanied by elevated Fgf2 expression. These results suggest that Fgf2 may play a role in the neuroprotection provided by subretinal electrical stimulation.

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© Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

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