Localization of secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) expression in the rat eye

Richard E. Gilbert, Alison J. Cox, Darren J. Kelly, Jennifer L. Wilkinson-Berka, E. Helene Sage, George Jerums, Mark E. Cooper

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Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) is a secreted glycoprotein protein which modulates cell shape and cell-matrix interactions and has been implicated in the regulation of angiogenesis, vascular permeability and cataract formation. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemical studies for SPARC were performed to determine the cell and tissue distribution of SPARC in rat eye. Studies demonstrated SPARC mRNA and protein co-localization at all sites. In the retina SPARC mRNA and protein were localized predominantly to the Muller and ganglion cells. Within the choroid, SPARC was found in vascular endothelial cells and fibroblasts; in the sclera SPARC was present in blood vessels and fibroblasts. SPARC was also present in the non-pigmented epithelial cells of the ciliary body, and in the epithelium of the lens capsule and cornea. The demonstrated anatomical distribution of SPARC in the rat eye is consistent with several of the biological functions ascribed to this matricellular protein and provides a rational basis for its examination in pathological conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-303
Number of pages9
JournalConnective Tissue Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Adhesion
  • Muller cell
  • Remodeling
  • Retina

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