Retinal ganglion cell death in experimental glaucoma and after axotomy occurs by apoptosis

Harry A Quigley, R. W. Nickells, L. A. Kerrigan, Mary Ellen Pease, D. J. Thibault, Donald J Zack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose. To investigate whether retinal ganglion cell death in experimental glaucoma and after axotomy occurs by apoptosis. Methods. Chronic elevated eye pressure was produced in 20 monkey eyes, and the optic nerve was transected unilaterally in the orbit of 10 monkeys and 14 rabbits. Sixteen monkey and 14 rabbit eyes were studied as normal controls. Analytic methods included light and electron microscopy, histochemistry for DNA fragmentation (TUNEI, method), and DNA electrophoresis in agarose gels. Results. Dying ganglion cells in the experimental retinal exhibited morphologic features of apoptosis, including chromatin condensation and formation of apoptotic bodies. Cells with a positive reaction for DNA fragmentation were observed in eyes subjected to axotomy and experimental glaucoma but were only rarely encountered in control eyes. No evidence of internucleosomal fragmentation was detected electrophoretically, possibly because of the small proportion of cells that were dying at any given time. Conclusion. Some retinal ganglion cells injured by glaucoma and by axotomy die by apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-786
Number of pages13
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Volume36
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1995

Fingerprint

Axotomy
Retinal Ganglion Cells
Glaucoma
Cell Death
Apoptosis
Haplorhini
DNA Fragmentation
Rabbits
Agar Gel Electrophoresis
Orbit
Optic Nerve
Ganglia
Chromatin
Electron Microscopy
Light
Pressure
DNA

Keywords

  • apoptosis
  • axotomy
  • glaucoma
  • optic nerve
  • retinal ganglion cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

Cite this

Retinal ganglion cell death in experimental glaucoma and after axotomy occurs by apoptosis. / Quigley, Harry A; Nickells, R. W.; Kerrigan, L. A.; Pease, Mary Ellen; Thibault, D. J.; Zack, Donald J.

In: Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Vol. 36, No. 5, 1995, p. 774-786.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Thibault, D. J.

AU - Zack, Donald J

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N2 - Purpose. To investigate whether retinal ganglion cell death in experimental glaucoma and after axotomy occurs by apoptosis. Methods. Chronic elevated eye pressure was produced in 20 monkey eyes, and the optic nerve was transected unilaterally in the orbit of 10 monkeys and 14 rabbits. Sixteen monkey and 14 rabbit eyes were studied as normal controls. Analytic methods included light and electron microscopy, histochemistry for DNA fragmentation (TUNEI, method), and DNA electrophoresis in agarose gels. Results. Dying ganglion cells in the experimental retinal exhibited morphologic features of apoptosis, including chromatin condensation and formation of apoptotic bodies. Cells with a positive reaction for DNA fragmentation were observed in eyes subjected to axotomy and experimental glaucoma but were only rarely encountered in control eyes. No evidence of internucleosomal fragmentation was detected electrophoretically, possibly because of the small proportion of cells that were dying at any given time. Conclusion. Some retinal ganglion cells injured by glaucoma and by axotomy die by apoptosis.

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