- Catecholamine regulated protein 40 (CRP40) has been shown to be expressed in the central nervous system (CNS) of several mammalian species where it may function in a similar manner to members of the heat shock protein (HSP) family. Immunohistochemical and immunoblotting techniques were utilized to investigate whether CRP40 is expressed in normal rat retinas. In addition, changes in CRP40 expression were studied following optic nerve transection. The immunohistochemical results showed that CRP40 is expressed in the normal rat retina. The protein was found to be highly expressed in the ganglion cell layer (GCL), the inner nuclear layer (INL) and the outer plexiform layer (OPL). In addition, a low level of CRP40 was found in the inner plexiform layer (IPL), and in the inner segment layer (ISL). No expression was found in the outer nuclear layer (ONL) of normal rat retina. The immunoblotting results show that CRP40 expression decreased in a time-dependent fashion after the optic nerve transection. This decrease indicates that the expression of CRP40 is dependent on the neuron's normal physiological state and that it plays an important function in physiological and pathological conditions in the retina.