Early activation of caspase-1 after retinal ischemia and reperfusion injury in mice

Guang Ying Zheng, Cheng Zhang, Zhi Gang Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background. Caspases are important in the signaling pathway of cellular apoptosis. Caspase-3 protein expression has been shown to increase and parallel to neuronal apoptosis in retinal ischemia injury. This study was to determine whether caspase-1 is involved in neuronal cell death or in retinal ischemia and reperfusion injury. Methods. In twenty-one adult mice, ischemia was induced by increasing the intraocular pressure. The animals were sacrificed at 1 hour, 3 hours, 6 hours, 1 day, 3 days and 7 days after reperfusion. Frozen sections were used for caspase-1 immunostaining and TUNEL labeling. Results. In normal retina, no caspase-1 positive cells were seen. One hour after ischemia, numerous positive cells were noted in the ganglion cell layer (GCL) and inner side of inner nuclear layer (INL). At 3 hours, caspase-1 positive cells continued to increase and peaked at 6 hours, then decreased significantly at 1 day. TUNEL positive cells were detected at 3 hours and peaked at 1 day after ischemia. Double labeling of caspase-1 and TUNEL only showed few cells with co-localization after ischemia. Conclusion. Caspase-1 immunoreactivity preceds to the TUNEL labeling in the GCL and INL after retinal ischemia and reperfusion injury and its early activation may play an important role in the initiation of neuronal apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-721
Number of pages5
JournalChinese medical journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Caspase-1
  • Reperfusion
  • Retinal ischemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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