Molecular composition of drusen and possible involvement of anti-retinal autoimmunity in two different forms of macular degeneration in cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis).
ABSTRACT We have previously reported a cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis) pedigree with early onset macular degeneration that develops drusen at 2 yr after birth. In this study, the molecular composition of drusen in monkeys affected with late onset and early onset macular degeneration was both characterized. Involvement of anti-retinalautoimmunity in the deposition of drusen and the pathogenesis of the disease was also evaluated. Funduscopic and histological examinations were performed on 278 adult monkeys (mean age=16.94 yr) for late onset macular degeneration. The molecular composition of drusen was analyzed by immunohistochemistry and/or direct proteome analysis using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectroscopy (LC-MS/MS). Anti-retinal autoantibodies in sera were screened in 20 affected and 10 age-matched control monkeys by Western blot techniques. Immunogenic molecules were identified by 2D electrophoresis and LC-MS/MS. Relative antibody titer against each antigen was determined by ELISA in sera from 42 affected (late onset) and 41 normal monkeys. Yellowish-white spots in the macular region were observed in 90 (32%) of the late onset monkeys that were examined. Histological examination demonstrated that drusen or degenerative retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells were associated with the pigmentary abnormalities. Drusen in both late and early onset monkeys showed immunoreactivities for apolipoprotein E, amyloid P component, complement component C5, the terminal C5b-9 complement complex, vitronectin, and membrane cofactor protein. LC-MS/MS analyses identified 60 proteins as constituents of drusen, including a number of common components in drusen of human age-related macular degeneration (AMD), such as annexins, crystallins, immunoglobulins, and complement components. Half of the affected monkeys had single or multiple autoantibodies against 38, 40, 50, and 60 kDa retinal proteins. The reacting antigens of 38 and 40 kDa were identified as annexin II and mu-crystallin, respectively. Relative antibody titer against annexin II in affected monkeys was significantly higher than control animals (P<0.01). Significant difference was not observed in antibody titer against mu-crystallin; however, several affected monkeys showed considerably elevated titer (360-610%) compared with the mean for unaffected animals. Monkey drusen both in late and early onset forms of macular degeneration had common components with drusen in human AMD patients, indicating that chronic inflammation mediated by complement activation might also be involved in the formation of drusen in these affected monkeys. The high prevalence of anti-retinalautoantibodies in sera from affected monkeys demonstrated an autoimmune aspect of the pathogenesis of the disease. Although further analyses are required to determine whether and how autoantibodies against annexin II or mu-crystallin relate to the pathogenesis of the disease, it could be hypothesized that immune responses directed against these antigens might trigger chronic activation of the complement cascade at the site of drusen formation.
Article: Autophagy and exosomes in the aged retinal pigment epithelium: possible relevance to drusen formation and age-related macular degeneration.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of loss of central vision in the elderly. The formation of drusen, an extracellular, amorphous deposit of material on Bruch's membrane in the macula of the retina, occurs early in the course of the disease. Although some of the molecular components of drusen are known, there is no understanding of the cell biology that leads to the formation of drusen. We have previously demonstrated increased mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage and decreased DNA repair enzyme capabilities in the rodent RPE/choroid with age. In this study, we found that drusen in AMD donor eyes contain markers for autophagy and exosomes. Furthermore, these markers are also found in the region of Bruch's membrane in old mice. By in vitro modeling increased mtDNA damage induced by rotenone, an inhibitor of mitochondrial complex I, in the RPE, we found that the phagocytic activity was not altered but that there were: 1) increased autophagic markers, 2) decreased lysosomal activity, 3) increased exocytotic activity and 4) release of chemoattractants. Exosomes released by the stressed RPE are coated with complement and can bind complement factor H, mutations of which are associated with AMD. We speculate that increased autophagy and the release of intracellular proteins via exosomes by the aged RPE may contribute to the formation of drusen. Molecular and cellular changes in the old RPE may underlie susceptibility to genetic mutations that are found in AMD patients and may be associated with the pathogenesis of AMD in the elderly.PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(1):e4160. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is linked to deletions in 4q35 within the D4Z4 repeat array in which we identified the double homeobox 4 (DUX4) gene. We found stable DUX4 mRNAs only derived from the most distal D4Z4 unit and unexpectedly extended to the flanking pLAM region that provided an intron and a polyadenylation signal. DUX4 encodes a transcription factor expressed in FSHD but not control primary myoblasts or muscle biopsies. The DUX4 protein initiates a large transcription deregulation cascade leading to muscle atrophy and oxidative stress, which are FSHD key features. We now show that transfection of myoblasts with a DUX4 expression vector leads to atrophic myotube formation associated with the induction of E3 ubiquitin ligases (MuRF1 and Atrogin1/MAFbx) typical of muscle atrophy. DUX4 induces expression of downstream targets deregulated in FSHD such as mu-crystallin and TP53. We developed specific siRNAs and antisense oligonucleotides (AOs) targeting the DUX4 mRNA. Addition of these antisense agents to primary FSHD myoblast cultures suppressed DUX4 protein expression and affected expression of the above-mentioned markers. These results constitute a proof of concept for the development of therapeutic approaches for FSHD targeting DUX4 expression.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(10):e26820. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Anti-inflammatory recombinant TSG-6 stabilizes the progression of focal retinal degeneration in a murine model.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Inflammatory responses are detected in the retina of patients with age-related macular degeneration and Ccl2-/-/Cx3cr1-/- mice on rd8 background,(Ccl2-/-/Cx3cr1-/- mice) a model that develops progressive age-related macular degeneration-like retinal lesions including focal photoreceptor degeneration, abnormal retinal pigment epithelium and A2E accumulation. Tumor necrosis factor-inducible gene 6 protein is an anti-inflammatory protein and has been shown to improve myocardial infarction outcome and chemically injured cornea in mice by suppressing inflammation. In this study, we evaluated the effect of an intravitreous injection of recombinant TSG-6 on the retinal lesions of Ccl2-/-/Cx3cr1-/- mice. Recombinant TSG-6 (400 ng) was administered by intravitreous injection into the right eye of six-week-old Ccl2-/-/Cx3cr1-/- mice. Their left eye was injected with phosphate-buffered saline as a control. Funduscopic pictures were taken before injection and sequentially once a month after injection. The mice were killed two months after injection and the ocular histology examined. Retinal A2E, a major component of lipofuscin, was measured by high performance liquid chromatography. The microarray of ocular mRNA of 92 immunological genes was performed. The genes showing differentiated expression in microarray were further compared between the injected right eye and the contralateral (control) eye by [real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction] qRT-PCR. The continuous monitoring of the fundus for two months showed a slower progression or alleviation of retinal lesions in the treated right eyes as compared with the untreated left eyes. Among 23 pairs of eyes, the lesion levels improved in 78.3%, stayed the same in 8.7% and progressed in 13.0%. Histology confirmed the clinical observation. Even though there was no difference in the level of A2E between the treated and the untreated eyes, microarray analysis of 92 immune genes showed that IL-17a was substantially decreased after the treatment. Expression of TNF-α showed a similar pattern to IL-17a. The results were consistent in duplicated arrays and confirmed by qRT-PCR. We concluded that intravitreous administration of recombinant TSG-6 might stabilize retinal lesions in Ccl2-/-/Cx3cr1-/- mice on rd8 background. Modulation of ocular immunological gene expressions, especially IL-17a, could be one of the mechanisms.Journal of Neuroinflammation 03/2012; 9:59. · 3.83 Impact Factor