The purpose of this study was to measure the level of expression of the inducible heat shock protein70 (Hsp70), the constitutive heat shock protein70 (Hsc70) in the outer nuclear layer and the photoreceptors in the human fetal retina. Fetal eyeballs were selected from fetal autopsy specimens of 12 and 17 to 40 week old fetuses, with no history of congenital anomalies. The retinas had differentiated from neuroblastic cells, into matured sensory retinas, from a gestational age (GA) from 12 to 36 weeks. The Hsp70 and Hsc70 were prominently expressed in the nuclear layers. The Hsc70 was expressed at all GAs and the Hsp70 was expressed from 20 to 33 weeks GA. This period is in accordance with the maturation of the sensory retina. The expression of heat shock protein may be regulated by the development of the fetus, and play an important role in the ocular development.
MATERIALS AND METHODS