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Title: Development of astroglia heterogeneously expressing Pax2, vimentin and GFAP during the ontogeny of the optic pathway of the lizard (Gallotia galloti): An immunohistochemical and ultrastructural study
Authors: Casañas, M. Nieves
Santos, Elena
Yanes, Carmen 
Romero-Aleman, Maria M. 
Viñoly, Raquel
Alfayate, M. Carmen
Monzón-Mayor, Maximina 
Keywords: Fibrillary Acidic Protein
Immunoreactive Glial-Cells
Retinal Ganglion-Cells
Nerve Head, et al
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: 0302-766X
Journal: Cell and Tissue Research 
Abstract: The successful regrowth of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons after optic nerve (ON) axotomy in Gallotia galloti indicates a permissive role of the glial environment. We have characterised the astroglial lineage of the lizard optic pathway throughout its ontogeny (embryonic stage 30 [E30] to adults) by using electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry to detect the proliferation marker PCNA (proliferating cell nuclear antigen), the transcription factor Pax2 and the gliofilament proteins vimentin (Vim) and GFAP (glial fibrillary acidic protein). PCNA(+) cells were abundant until E39, with GFAP(+)/PCNA(+) astrocytes being observed between E37 and hatching. Proliferation diminished markedly afterwards, being undetectable in the adult optic pathway. Muller glia of the central retina expressed Pax2 from E37 and their endfeet accumulated Vim from E33 and GFAP from E37 onwards. Astrocytes were absent in the avascular lizard retina, whereas abundant Pax2(+) astrocytes were observed in the ON from E30. A major subpopulation of these astrocytes coexpressed Vim from E35 and also GFAP from E37 onwards; thus the majority of mature astrocytes coexpressed Pax2/Vim/GFAP. The astrocytes were ultrastructurally identified by their gliofilaments, microtubules, dense bodies, desmosomes and glycogen granules, which preferentially accumulated in cell processes. Astrocytes in the adult ON coexpressed both gliofilaments and presented desmosomes indicating a reinforcement of the ON structure; this is physiologically necessary for local adaptation to mechanical forces linked to eye movement. We suggest that astrocytes forming this structural scaffold facilitate the regrowth of RGCs after ON transection.
ISSN: 0302-766X
DOI: 10.1007/s00441-011-1211-9
Source: Cell And Tissue Research[ISSN 0302-766X],v. 345 (3), p. 295-311
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