Serum Deprivation Induces Apoptosis of Retinal Ganglion Cells Utilizing Mitochondrial Signaling Pathways




Charles, Irma E.


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Charles, Irma E., Serum Deprivation Induced Apoptosis of Retinal Ganglion Cells Utilizing Mitochondrial Signaling Pathways. Master of Science (Biomedical Sciences), December 2003, 90 pp., 10 illustrations. Apoptosis is the genetically regulated death of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) in which there is a blockade of retrograde transport. This blockade results in the loss of neurotrophic growth factors that are essential for the survival of the RGCs. This study uses several different techniques to determine mechanisms underlying apoptosis in rat RGCs deprived of growth factors. An established line of transformed RGC was subjected to serum deprivation for 2-6 days and compared to RGC cells maintained in 10% FBS to study the cellular changes that occur as a result of the treatments. The results show that serum deprivation for 48 hours resulted in a 50% cell loss due to apoptosis. Apoptotic death was associated with activation of caspases 3, 8, and 9 along with increased levels of Bax and death receptors 3 & 4. These results indicate that serum deprivation results in RGC death via mitochondrial and also extrinsic pathways.