Retinal Changes in Astrocytes and Müller Glia in a Mouse Model of Laser-Induced Glaucoma: A Time-Course Study

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Macroglia (astrocytes and Müller glia) may play an important role in the pathogenesis of glaucoma. In a glaucoma mouse model, we studied the effects of unilateral laser-induced ocular hypertension (OHT) on macroglia in OHT and contralateral eyes at different time points after laser treatment (1, 3, 5, 8 and 15 days) using anti-GFAP and anti-MHC-II, analyzing the morphological changes, GFAP-labelled retinal area (GFAP-PA), and GFAP and MHC-II immunoreactivity intensities ((GFAP-IRI and MHC-II-IRI)). In OHT and contralateral eyes, with respect to naïve eyes, at all the time points, we found the following: (i) astrocytes with thicker somas and more secondary processes, mainly in the intermediate (IR) and peripheral retina (PR); (ii) astrocytes with low GFAP-IRI and only primary processes near the optic disc (OD); (iii) an increase in total GFAP-RA, which was higher at 3 and 5 days, except for at 15 days; (iv) an increase in GFAP-IRI in the IR and especially in the PR; (v) a decrease in GFAP-IRI near the OD, especially at 1 and 5 days; (vi) a significant increase in MHC-II-IRI, which was higher in the IR and PR; and (vii) the Müller glia were GFAP+ and MHC-II+. In conclusion, in this model of glaucoma, there is a bilateral macroglial activation maintained over time involved in the inflammatory glaucoma process.
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