Characterization of the cell death promoter, Bad, in the developing rat retina and forebrain.
Neuronal programmed cell death, or apoptosis, occurs during development, following injury or in certain disease processes, and is regulated by members of the B-cell leukemia-2 (Bcl-2) protein family. These molecules include both positive and negative regulators of cell death and act by selective dimerization that results in permissive or inhibitory effects on a cascade of cellular events, including mitochondrial release of cytochrome c, stimulation of cysteine protease activity and subsequent cellular deterioration. Here, we have characterized the expression of the cell death agonist, Bad, in the postnatal rat retina and forebrain. Isolation, subsequent amplification by RT-PCR and DNA sequence analysis revealed that retinal Bad was identical to Bad expressed in the developing and adult rat brain. Using a polyclonal antibody to Bad, we determined that, in the retina, on the day of birth (postnatal day-0, PND-0) Bad immunoreactivity was expressed primarily by retinal ganglion cells, some cells in the inner neuroblastic layer (NBL) and an indistinct plexus of processes in the inner plexiform layer (IPL). On PND-7, Bad immunoreactivity was observed in most cells in the ganglion cell layer (GCL), numerous cells scattered throughout the inner nuclear layer (INL), a lightly stained IPL and in a distinct band of immunostained fibers in the forming outer plexiform layer (OPL). By PND-15, Bad immunoreactivity was present in cells in the GCL, in some cells in the proximal INL and in horizontal cell processes in the OPL. The IPL was only faintly labeled. In the adult retina, specific Bad immunostaining was confined to large cells in the ganglion cell layer (presumed ganglion cells), occasional lightly stained horizontal cells and their processes in the OPL and to occasional small, lightly stained cells in the proximal INL (presumed amacrine cells) and GCL (presumed displaced amacrine cells). Again, the interposed IPL was faintly labeled. In the brain, Bad immunoreactive cells were scattered throughout the forebrain parenchyma but were particularly concentrated in neurons of the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and amygdala. Bad immunoreactivity was heaviest in these cells at PND-7, distinctly weaker at PND-10 and absent by PND-24. At all time points examined, Bad immunoreactivity was present in epithelial cells of the choroid plexus, as previously reported in the adult rat brain. These data suggest that Bad is transiently expressed by various cell types in the perinatal retina, particularly ganglion cells, and in discrete forebrain regions. In the context of corroborative observations, Bad expression may be regulated in response to acute ischemia and may act as a control point for retinal neuronal apoptosis.
Rickman, DW; Nacke, RE; Bowes Rickman, C
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