[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The type 1 sigma receptor (sigmaR1) is a nonopiate and nonphencyclidine binding site that has numerous pharmacological and physiological functions. In some studies, agonists for sigmaR1 have been shown to afford neuroprotection against overstimulation of the NMDA receptor. sigmaR1 expression has been demonstrated recently in retinal ganglion cells (RGC). RGCs undergo apoptosis early in diabetic retinopathy via NMDA receptor overstimulation. In the present study we asked whether RGCs cultured under hyperglycemic conditions and RGCs of diabetic mice continue to express sigmaR1. RGCs were cultured 48 h in RPMI medium containing either 45 mM glucose or 11 mM glucose plus 34 mM mannitol (osmolar control). C57BL/6 mice were made diabetic using streptozotocin. The retina was dissected from normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice 3, 6 and 12 weeks post-onset of diabetes. sigmaR1 was analyzed in cells using semiquantitative RT-PCR and in tissues by semiquantitative RT-PCR, in situ hybridization, Western blot analysis and immunolocalization. The RT-PCR analysis of cultured RGCs showed that sigmaR1 mRNA is expressed under hyperglycemic conditions at levels similar to control cells. Similarly, analysis of retinas of diabetic mice showed no difference in levels of mRNA encoding sigmaR1 compared to retinas of control mice. In situ hybridization analysis showed that expression patterns of sigmaR1 mRNA in the ganglion cell layer were similar between diabetic and control mice. Western blot analysis suggested that levels of sigmaR1 in retina were similar between diabetic and control retinas. Immunohistochemical analysis of sigmaR1 showed a similar pattern of sigmaR1 protein expression between control and diabetic retina. These studies demonstrate that sigmaR1 is expressed under hyperglycemic conditions in vitro and in vivo.
Molecular Brain Research 12/2002; 107(2):97-107. DOI:10.1016/S0169-328X(02)00444-8 · 2.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The polarized distribution of reduced-folate transporter (RFT)-1 to the apical retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) membrane was demonstrated recently. Nitric oxide (NO) significantly decreases the activity of RFT-1 in cultured RPE cells. NO is elevated in diabetes, and therefore in the present study the alteration of RFT-1 activity in RPE under conditions of high glucose was investigated.
Human ARPE-19 cells were incubated in media containing 5 mM glucose plus 40 mM mannitol (control) or 45 mM glucose for varying periods and the activity of RFT-1 was assessed by determining the uptake of [3H]-N(5)-methyltetrahydrofolate (MTF). The levels of mRNA encoding RFT-1 were determined by RT-PCR and protein levels by Western blot analysis. The activity of RFT-1 and expression of mRNA encoding RFT-1 were analyzed also in RPE of streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice.
Exposure of RPE cells to 45 mM glucose for as short an incubation time as 6 hours resulted in a 35% decrease in MTF uptake. Kinetic analysis showed that the hyperglycemia-induced attenuation was associated with a decrease in the maximal velocity of the transporter with no significant change in the substrate affinity. Semiquantitative RT-PCR demonstrated that the mRNA encoding RFT-1 was significantly decreased in cells exposed to high glucose, and Western blot analysis showed a significant decrease in protein levels. The uptake of [3H]-MTF in RPE of diabetic mice was reduced by approximately 20%, compared with that in nondiabetic, age-matched control animals. Semiquantitative RT-PCR demonstrated that the mRNA encoding RFT-1 was decreased significantly in RPE of diabetic mice.
These findings demonstrate for the first time that hyperglycemic conditions reduce the expression and activity of RFT-1 and may have profound implications for the transport of folate by RPE in diabetes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sigma receptors are nonopiate and nonphencyclidine binding sites that are thought to be neuroprotective due to modulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Sigma receptor 1 expression has been demonstrated in numerous tissues including brain. Recently, studies using binding assays have demonstrated sigma receptor 1 in neural retina, however these studies did not demonstrate in which retinal cell type(s) sigma receptor 1 was present nor did they establish unequivocally the molecular identity of the receptor. The present study was designed to address these issues. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis amplified sigma receptor 1 in neural retina, RPE-choroid complex, and lens isolated from mice. A similar RT-PCR product was amplified also in three cultured cell lines, rat Müller cells, rat ganglion cells and human ARPE-19 cells. In situ hybridization analysis revealed abundant sigma receptor 1 expression in ganglion cells, cells of the inner nuclear layer, inner segments of photoreceptor cells and retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. Immunohistochemical studies detected the sigma receptor 1 protein in retinal ganglion, photoreceptor, RPE cells and surrounding the soma of cells in the inner nuclear layer. These data provide the first cellular localization of sigma receptor 1 in neural retina and establish the molecular identity of sigma receptor 1 in retinal cells. The demonstration that sigma receptor 1 is present in ganglion cells is particularly noteworthy given the well-documented susceptibility of these cells to glutamate toxicity. Our findings suggest that retinal ganglion cells may be amenable to the neuroprotective effects of sigma ligands under conditions of neurotoxicity such as occurs in diabetes.
Molecular Brain Research 12/2001; 95(1-2):86-95. DOI:10.1016/S0169-328X(01)00249-2 · 2.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Homocysteine, an excitatory amino acid and a homolog of cysteine, induces neuronal cell death in brain via stimulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. It also selectively activates NMDA receptors of retinal ganglion cells, but it is not known if high levels of homocysteine are toxic to these cells. The purpose of this study was to determine whether increased levels of homocysteine caused death of neurons in the ganglion cell layer; if so whether this death occurred via an apoptotic mechanism and to determine the consequences of simultaneous elevation of homocysteine and glutamate, a known retinal excitotoxin, on the viability of neurons of the ganglion cell layer. C57BL/6 mice were injected intravitreally with either homocysteine or glutamate/homocysteine combined (final concentrations: 25, 75, and 200 microM); injection of glutamate (25 and 200 microM) served as a positive control. Eyes were harvested and cryosections prepared 5-6 days post-injection. Systematic morphometric analysis of retinas of mice injected with homocysteine indicated that the total number of cells in the ganglion cell layer decreased by about 23% following exposure to 200 microM homocysteine. To determine whether the neurons of the ganglion cell layer were dying by apoptosis, the TUNEL method was used and was confirmed by immunohistochemical studies of caspase-3, known to be expressed at high levels during retinal ganglion cell apoptosis. Microscopic analysis revealed significantly more TUNEL-positive cells in the ganglion cell layer in homocysteine-injected eyes than in contralateral PBS-injected eyes. Retinas injected with 75 and 200 microM homocysteine displayed significantly more TUNEL-positive neurons in the ganglion cell layer (2 and 2.9, respectively) than PBS-injected retinas (0.25). In eyes injected simultaneously with homocysteine/glutamate, the number of apoptotic cells in the ganglion cell layer almost doubled that for homocysteine or glutamate injections alone. Immunohistochemical analysis of activated caspase-3 revealed numerous positively labelled neurons in the ganglion cell layer in homocysteine and homocysteine/glutamate-injected eyes, but not in PBS-injected eyes. Quantification of this data revealed a significantly greater number of caspase-3-positive neurons in the ganglion cell layer of retinas injected with 75 and 200 microM homocysteine (2.9 and 4.4, respectively) than for PBS-injected retinas (0.5). This confirms that death of neurons in the ganglion cell layer is occurring by apoptosis. The present study provides the first evidence that homocysteine is toxic to neurons of the ganglion cell layer. In addition, it provides evidence that these retinal neurons are dying by apoptosis and it demonstrates for the first time that excitotoxic damage to neurons of the ganglion cell layer is potentiated by simultaneous elevation of homocysteine and glutamate. These findings are relevant to retinal ganglion cell death characteristic of diabetic retinopathy, which is thought to be mediated by overstimulation of the NMDA receptor.
Experimental Eye Research 08/2001; 73(1):45-57. DOI:10.1006/exer.2001.1009 · 2.71 Impact Factor