To determine the roles of different members of the family of B cell lymphoma protooncogene (Bcl-2) in relation to neurotoxin-induced neuronal degeneration, the pattern of the expression of a number of molecules of the Bcl-2 family was studied immunocytochemically in the retinas of C57BL/6J mice after intraperitoneal (IP) injection of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Three days to 12 weeks after MPTP treatment, a detectable reduction of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity in the amacrine cells was observed, with an increase of Bcl-2 expression in the Müller glial cells, and a de novo expression of Bad and Bax in the retinal ganglion cells, optic nerve fibers and plexiform layers. In contrast, a slight decrease of Bcl-XL immunoreactivity in the retinal ganglion cells was observed, whereas Bcl-XS/L immunoreactivity was increased slightly in the retinas of MPTP-treated mice compared with that of the controls. In animals that received MPTP injection, an increase in immunostaining of GFAP, glutamine synthetase, and Mac-1 (CD11b) in astrocytes, Müller cells, and microglia was invariably observed, indicating an activation or dysfunction of retinal glial cells. These findings are consistent with the current view that glial dysfunction is important in mediating the cytotoxic effect of a variety of neurotoxic molecules, including MPTP, and that different members of Bcl-2 family may have different roles as far as neuronal degeneration or neuroprotection is concerned.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience