Regeneration And TransplantationBcl-2 is not required in retinal ganglion cells surviving optic nerve axotomyDietz, Gunnar P. H.1, CA; Kilic, Ertugrul1; Bähr, Mathias1; Isenmann, StefanAuthor Information Department of Neurology, Auf der Morgenstelle 15, 72076 Tübingen, Germany 1Present address: Department of Neurology, Robert-Koch-Str. 40, 37075 Göttingen Received 26 June 2001; accepted 20 August 2001 NeuroReport: October 29th, 2001 - Volume 12 - Issue 15 - p 3353-3356 Buy Abstract Axotomy of the optic nerve in rodents induces the majority of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) to undergo apoptosis: Only 10–15% survive 14 days past lesion. The molecular mechanism allowing this survival is not known. To test whether expression of the anti-apoptotic proto-oncogene bcl-2 gene is required in those RGCs, we examined the effect of optic nerve axotomy in bcl-2−/− mice. 7 days and 14 days post-lesion, the same number of surviving RGCs was detected in mutant and wild type retinas. Thus, the bcl-2 gene is not necessary for the survival of the subpopulation of retinal ganglion cells resisting axotomy-induced apoptosis in adult mice, nor does its normal expression delay retinal ganglion cell degeneration. © 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.