A potential role for β- and γ-crystallins in the vascular remodeling of the eye

Cheng Zhang, Peter Gehlbach, Celine Gongora, Marisol Cano, Robert Fariss, Stacey Hose, Avindra Nath, William R. Green, Morton F. Goldberg, J. Samuel Zigler, Debasish Sinha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


We demonstrate that expression of β- and γ-crystallins is associated with intraocular vessels during normal vascular development of the eye and also in the Nuc1 rat, a mutant in which the hyaloid vascular system fails to regress normally. Real-Time RT PCR, Western blot and metabolic labeling studies indicate an increased expression of β- and γ-crystallins in Nuc1 retina. The increased expression of crystalline was localized to the astrocytes surrounding the intraocular vessels. A similar pattern of crystallin expression was also observed in the retinal vessels during normal development. Cultured human astrocytes exposed to 3-nitropropionic acid, an established model of neuronal hypoxia, increased VEGF expression, as expected, but also increased expression of crystalline. Our data suggest that crystalline may function together with VEGF during vascular remodeling. Interestingly, in human PFV (persistent fetal vasculature) disease, where the hyaloid vasculature abnormally persists after birth, we show that astrocytes express both VEGF and crystalline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-47
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Astrocytes
  • Hyaloid and retinal vessels
  • VEGF
  • Vascular remodeling
  • β/γ-crystallins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology


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