Immunoblotting with a polyclonal antibody, directed against the mineralocorticoid receptor protein purified from rat kidney in presence of the receptor-specific ligand RU 26752, labeled a single 98-102 kDa band in soluble extracts from bovine retina and from cultured bovine retinal pigment epithelial cells, identical to the receptor in several other tissues from the rat. The antibody also immunoprecipitated the receptor-3H-RU 26752 complex in bovine retinal extract. The growth of the isolated pigment epithelial cells was inhibited by RU 26752 and ZK91587, two ligands specific to the mineralocorticoid receptor. Successive passages in culture led to the disappearance of immunoreactivity in Western blots, concurrently with the refractoriness of the cells to growth inhibition by the two antagonists. On sections of the human eye, mineralocorticoid receptor-specific immunofluorescence was observed in retinal cone cells, pigment epithelium, epithelium of ciliary body, iris, cornea and lens. To our knowledge, this is the first ever demonstration of the mineralocorticoid receptor in ocular tissues.
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