Veterinary Science & Technology

ISSN: 2157-7579

Open Access

Distribution of α B-Crystallin in the Central Retina and Optic Nerve Head of Different Mammals and its Changes during Outer and Inner Retinal Degeneration


Christian Albrecht May

Purpose: To investigate species differences in the distribution and localization of alpha B-crystallin (ABC) in the normal retina and optic nerve head region, and to describe changes during outer and inner retina degeneration.

Material and methods: Animals studied included mice, rats, cats, pigs, cows, and monkeys. Sections of the optic nerve and central retina were labeled with antibodies against ABC and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP).

Results: ABC was located in astrocytes and Muller cells with different intensities. During outer retina degeneration (dystrophic rat and Abyssinian cat), only late stages showed an increase in ABC in the retina and optic nerve head. Inner retina degeneration in the glaucoma mouse model showed no increase of ABC. In the monkey glaucoma model, only the innermost layer of the optic nerve head showed increased labeling for ABC.

Conclusions: The distribution of ABC is species dependent and is (excluding the mouse) present in the nerve fiber layer of the retina and in the optic nerve head (localization of astrocytes). Chronic retinal degeneration does not necessarily lead to an over-expression of ABC. While in outer retinal degeneration induction was predominantly present in late stages, pressure-induced glaucoma led to a specific increase in ABC already in early stages indicating a local stress-response in this region.


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