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Characterization of NADPH-diaphorase-positive glial cells of the tench optic nerve after axotomy.

D. Clemente, A. Porteros, F. J. Arenzana, J. Aijon, M. Parrilla, A. Santos-Ledo, R. Arevalo


NADPH-diaphorase (ND) positive cell types were characterized throughout the optic nerve of the tench in normal conditions and after optic nerve transection with survival periods of 1, 3, 7, 14, 30, 60, 120 and 180 days. Astrocytic markers (S100 and glutamine synthetase) and the microglial marker tomato lectin were employed. In the control prechiasmatic optic nerve two types (types I and II) of ND-positive glial cells appeared. All type I cells showed S100 immunoreactivity, whereas only a subpopulation of them were positive to glutamine synthetase. Type II cells only presented S100 immunoreactivity. In the control anterior optic tract, all ND-positive glial cells (type III) presented immunolabeling to S100 and glutamine synthetase. After transection, types I and II did not show any changes in the staining patterns for the glial markers when observed. Two new types of ND-positive glial cells (types IV and V) were observed after axotomy. All type IV cells were S100-immunopositive, and a subpopulation presented glutamine synthetase immunolabeling. Only a subpopulation of type V cells showed glutamine synthetase immunostaining. The presence of type IV or V cells in the lesioned optic nerve occurred simultaneously with significant decreases or absence of type I cells. These data suggest that type I and III cells are astrocytes and type II cells are oligodendrocytes. Types IV and V cells are the result of the activation of type I cells after optic nerve section. The polymorphism observed in ND-positive cells may reflect different cell functions during degenerative and regenerative processes.

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