In RCS rats, the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is defective in phagocytosis of photoreceptor membranes. We have previously shown reduced expression of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in the RPE of 7-10-day-old RCS rats. This study using primary RPE cultures from rats of this age demonstrates that the phagocytic defect in the mutant RPE, can be overcome by treatment with bFGF, by a mechanism involving gene transcription and that normal RPE phagocytosis, also requiring transcription, is blocked by a bFGF neutralizing antibody. The combined data point to a role for bFGF in the normal mechanism of RPE phagocytosis and the RCS defect.
- Basic fibroblast growth factor
- Inherited retinal degeneration
- RCS rat
- RPE cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology