BMP pathway and reactive retinal gliosis

Subramanian Dharmarajan, Purdue University


Reactive gliosis is known to have a beneficial and a degenerative effect following injury to neurons. Although many factors have been implicated in reactive gliosis, their role in regulating this change is still unclear. We investigated the role of bone morphogenetic proteins in reactive gliosis in vivo and in vitro. In vivo, IHC analysis indicated reactive gliosis in the 6 week Ins2Akita mouse and WPK rat retinas. Expression of BMP7 was upregulated in these models, leading to an increase in the phosphorylation of downstream SMAD1. In vitro, treatment of murine retinal astrocyte cells with a strong oxidizing agent such as sodium peroxynitrite regulated RNA levels of various markers, including GFAP, CSPGs, MMPs and TIMPs. BMP7 treatment also regulated RNA levels to a similar extent, suggesting reactive gliosis. Treatment with high glucose DMEM and BMP4, however, did not elicit increase in levels to a similar degree. Increase in SMAD levels and downstream targets of SMAD signaling such as ID1, ID3 and MSX2 was also observed following treatment with sodium peroxynitrite in vitro and in the 6 week Ins2Akita mouse retinas in vivo. These data concur with previously established data which show an increase in BMP7 levels following injury. It also demonstrates a role for BMP7 in gliosis following disease. Further, it suggests SMAD signaling to play a role in initiating reactivity in astrocytes as well as in remodeling the extracellular matrix following injury and in a disease condition.




Belecky-Adams, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Developmental biology

Off-Campus Purdue Users:
To access this dissertation, please log in to our
proxy server