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Electrical stimulation enhances the survival of axotomized retinal ganglion cells in vivo

Morimoto, Takeshi1 2 3; Miyoshi, Tomomitsu1 CA; Fujikado, Takashi2 3; Tano, Yasuo3; Fukuda, Yutaka1

Vision, Retina
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In view of recent reports on the survival promotion of damaged spiral ganglion cells and motoneurons by electrical stimulation, we hypothesized that an electrical stimulation of the cut optic nerve (ON) may promote the survival of axotomized retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in vivo. To test this hypothesis, we examined 1 week after ON transection the RGC densities in the retinas with or without electrical stimulation. The densities of surviving RGCs in the retinas with the electrical stimulation increased as compared with those without the electrical stimulation. We concluded that electrical stimulation of the ON enhances the survival of axotomized RGCs in vivo, probably due to electrical activation of their soma.

1Department of Physiology and Biosignaling, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan

2Department of Sensory Organ Reconstruction, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan

3Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan

CA,1Corresponding Author and Address: Department of Physiology and Biosignaling, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan

Received 21 November 2001 accepted 3 December 2001

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.