PDGF- and insulin/IGF-1-specific distinct modes of class IA PI 3-kinase activation in normal rat retinas and RGC-5 retinal ganglion cells

Swarajit K. Biswas, Yan Zhao, Arumugam Nagalingam, Thomas W. Gardner, Lakshman Sandirasegarane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. To compare PDGF- and insulin/IGF-1-induced class IA PI 3-kinase/Akt survival signaling in normal retinas and retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). METHODS. Normal rat retinas and RGC-5 cells were used for (1) immunohistochemical and immunoblot studies to detect PDGF receptor (PDGFR) subtypes and (2) immunoprecipitation, immunoblot, and in vitro lipid kinase assays to determine basal and PDGF-induced class IA PI 3-kinase/Akt survival signaling, in comparison with insulin or IGF-1 responses. Furthermore, RGC-5 cells were exposed to broad-spectrum (LY294002) or p110 isoform-selective (PI-103) PI 3-kinase inhibitors (versus Akt inhibitor) to assess the consequent effects on Akt phosphorylation, caspase-3/PARP cleavage, apoptotic phenotype, and cell viability, as a function of serum trophic factors. RESULTS. PDGFR-α and -β immunoreactivity was observed in rat retinal Müller cells and in the RGC layer and blood vessels, respectively. In addition, PDGFR-α and -β protein expression was observed in RGC-5 cells. Both retinas and RGC-5 cells exhibited a similar pattern of subunit-specific basal class IA PI 3-kinase activity, which was stimulated in a temporal and signal-specific manner by PDGF and insulin/IGF-1. Furthermore, RGC-5 cells showed PDGFR-α/β tyrosine phosphorylation that induced the p85α regulatory subunit to activate p110α/β- associated class IA PI 3-kinase, which in turn enhanced Akt phosphorylation. Exposure of serum-deprived RGC-5 cells to PI 3-kinase or Akt inhibitors increased susceptibility to apoptotic phenotype as revealed by caspase-3 and PARP cleavage. CONCLUSIONS. The present findings provide direct evidence of two distinct modes of retinal class IA PI 3-kinase activation that occurs in response to PDGF receptor and insulin/IGF-1 receptor stimulation. PDGF-induced PI 3-kinase/PIP3/Akt axis may provide new therapeutic approaches to ameliorate cell death in diabetic retinopathy and other retinal neurodegenerations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3687-3698
Number of pages12
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'PDGF- and insulin/IGF-1-specific distinct modes of class IA PI 3-kinase activation in normal rat retinas and RGC-5 retinal ganglion cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this