Background: Scatter photocoagulation induces regression of retinal neovascularization, but the mechanism of its therapeutic effect is incompletely understood. To elucidate the mechanism of therapeutic effect of photocoagulation is the main focus of our research. We have already demonstrated basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) immunolocalization during retinal wound repair following laser photocoagulation. Transforming growth factor beta (TGF beta) reportedly inhibits endothelial cell growth and bFGF-induced cell proliferation in vitro. In the present study, we evaluated the immunohistochemical localization of TGF-beta 1 and -beta 2 during wound repair in the rat retina following laser photocoagulation.
Methods: Krypton laser photocoagulation was performed on the eyes of pigmented rats. The eyes were then enucleated on day 1, 3, 7, 14, 28 or 56 following the photocoagulation and enrolled into the analysis of immunohistochemical localization of TGF-beta 1 and -beta 2.
Results: Immunoreactivity for TGF-beta 1 and -beta 2 was present in the ganglion cell layer and photoreceptor outer segments of the normal adult rat retina. The cytoplasm of RPE cells at the photocoagulated lesion showed intense TGF-beta 1 and -beta 2 immunoreactivity on day 3 after laser photocoagulation. Macrophages that migrated into the lesion lacked positive staining for TGF-beta 1 and -beta 2. TGF-beta immunoreactivity in RPE cells continued to be upregulated for more than 1 month compared with that in normal RPE cells. Controls did not exhibit any positive staining.
Conclusion: An elevated expression of TGF-beta immunoreactivity for a longer period of time than bFGF was observed in RPE cells at the photocoagulated lesion in vivo. In the late phase of retinal wound repair, TGF-beta may inhibit cell proliferation induced by mitogens, introduce an end stage of cellular events, and induce extracellular matrix induction.