Purpose: To investigate the modulation of nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB in light-induced photoreceptor degeneration in a mouse model.
Methods: Mice were exposed to intense green light. Light-induced activation of NF-kappaB and its nuclear localization were studied by immunohistochemistry. The NF-kappaB DNA-binding activity in the retinas after exposure to light was measured by electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). Nuclear transactivation of NF-kappaB in the photoreceptor cells was determined by quantitative real-time (qRT)-PCR. The amount of NF-kappaB p65 in the photoreceptor cells after exposure to light was assessed by Western blot analysis. To obtain more photoreceptor-specific information, microdissected photoreceptor cells were used in some studies.
Results: By an immunohistochemical method, the perinuclear region of the photoreceptor cells was heavily labeled with an antibody to activated NF-kappaB after a 1-hour exposure to light. Nuclear localization of NF-kappaB in the photoreceptor nucleus was seen at 12 hours. In the experiments involving 3 hours of exposure to light followed by recovery in the dark, nuclear localization of NF-kappaB was also noted after 12 hours' recovery in the dark. During continuous exposure to light, the NF-kappaB DNA-binding activity gradually increased and reached its maximum at 12 hours. There was an increase of NF-kappaB p65 protein at 3 hours. The mRNA levels of IkappaBalpha were upregulated after 6 hours' exposure to light.
Conclusions: Intense light activated NF-kappaB in the photoreceptor cells in vivo, increased the NF-kappaB DNA-binding activity, and increased the expression of mRNA of IkappaBalpha, a target gene of NF-kappaB.