Expression and possible function of fibroblast growth factor 9 (FGF9) and its cognate receptors FGFR2 and FGFR3 in postnatal and adult retina.
Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) are important regulators of retinal development and survival. We examined the expression and distribution of FGF9 and its preferred receptors FGFR2IIIc and FGFR3IIIc in this tissue. FGF9 transcripts in whole rat retina were detected by RT-PCR but were not present in purified cultured Muller glia. Transcripts appeared as 3.2-kb and 4.0-kb bands on Northern blots, and Western blotting of whole retina revealed FGF9-immunoreactive bands at 30 and 55 kDa. FGF9 mRNA demonstrated a biphasic expression profile, elevated at birth and adulthood, but relatively decreased during terminal retinal differentiation (4-14 days postnatal). Antibody labeling broadly reflected these findings: staining in vivo was observed mainly in the inner retina (and outer plexiform layer in adults) whereas FGF9 was not detectable in cultured Muller glia. In adults, FGF9 in situ hybridization also showed a detectable signal in inner retina. FGFR2IIIc and FGFR3IIIc were detected by RT-PCR, and Western blotting showed both FGFRs existed as multiple forms between approximately 100-200 kDa. FGFR2 and FGFR3 antibodies showed prominent labeling in the inner retina, especially in proliferating cultured Muller glia. Exogenous FGF9 elicited a dose-dependent increase in Muller glial proliferation in vitro. These data suggest a role for FGF9 in retinal differentiation and maturation, possibly representing a neuronally derived factor acting upon glial (and other) cells.
Cinaroglu, A; Ozmen, Y; Ozdemir, A; Ozcan, F; Ergorul, C; Cayirlioglu, P; Hicks, D; Bugra, K
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