Ontogeny of the opioid growth factor, [Met5]-enkephalin, and its binding activity in the rat retina

Tomoki isayama, W. Jeffrey hurst, Patricia J. Mclaughlin, Ian S. Zagon

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14 Scopus citations


The endogenous opioid peptide [Met5]-enkephalin is a tonically active opioid growth factor (OGF) with an inhibitory action on DNA synthesis in the developing rat retina. In this study, the ontogeny of the spatial and temporal expression of OGF and its binding activity was examined. OGF-like immunoreactivity was detected in the retina at gestation day (E) 20, but not at E18, and was localized to ganglion cell and neuroblast layers; immunochemical reaction was no longer seen in the retina by postnatal day 6. Native OGF was further identified and characterized by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) studies and immunodot assays, which revealed that [Met5]-enkephalin was present in the neonatal, but not adult, rat retina. OGF binding activity was detected as early as E18 using [125 I]-[Met 5]-enkephalin and in vitro receptor autoradiography. Little OGF binding activity was noted for prenatal retinas, but appreciable activity was observed from birth to postnatal day 4; no OGF binding could be detected after postnatal day 5 or in the adult. These results reveal the transient appearance of the OGF, [Met5]-enkephalin, and its receptor binding activity in the developing mammalian retina, and show that their ontogeny coincides with the timetable of DNA synthesis of retinal neuroblasts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-950
Number of pages12
JournalVisual Neuroscience
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Sensory Systems


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