Axonal regeneration induced by repetitive electrical stimulation of crushed optic nerve in adult rats

Japanese Journal of Ophthalmology
Yuichi TagamiOsamu Mimura


To investigate whether electrical stimulation promoted axonal regeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) after optic nerve (ON) crush in adult rats. Transcorneal electrical stimulation (TES), which stimulates the retina with current from a corneal contact lens electrode, was used to stimulate the eye. TES was applied for 1 h immediately after ON crush. Axonal regeneration was determined by anterograde labeling of RGC axons. To examine whether the axonal regeneration was mediated by insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) receptors, an IGF-1 receptor antagonist, JB3, was injected intraperitoneally before each TES application. Immunostaining for IGF-1 was performed to examine the effects of TES. To test the survival-promoting effects of TES applied daily, the mean density of retrogradely labeled RGCs was determined on day 12 after ON crush. Compared with sham stimulation, the mean number of regenerating axons significantly increased at 250 microm distal from the lesion and increased IGF-1 immunoreactivity was observed in retinas treated daily with TES. Preinjection of an IGF-1 receptor antagonist significantly blocked axonal regeneration by TES applied daily. TES applied daily also markedly enhanced the survival of RGCs 12 days a...Continue Reading


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