Nilisha Fernando

Nilisha Fernando
National Institutes of Health | NIH · National Eye Institute (NEI)

PhD

About

40
Publications
5,306
Reads
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509
Citations
Additional affiliations
March 2017 - December 2019
Australian National University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
November 2016 - February 2017
Australian National University
Position
  • Technical Officer
January 2013 - July 2013
Australian National University
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
July 2013 - December 2017
Australian National University
Field of study
  • Vision Science
January 2009 - December 2012
Australian National University
Field of study
  • Medical Science

Publications

Publications (40)
Article
Full-text available
Background Chemokine signalling is required for the homing of leukocytes during retinal inflammation, and is associated with pathogenesis of diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Here, we explore the role of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) in modulating AMD-associated chemokines Ccl2, Cxcl1, and Cxcl10 during photo-oxidative retinal damag...
Article
Full-text available
Inflammation underpins and contributes to the pathogenesis of many retinal degenerative diseases. The recruitment and activation of both resident microglia and recruited macrophages, as well as the production of cytokines, are key contributing factors for progressive cell death in these diseases. In particular, the interleukin 1 (IL-1) family consi...
Article
Full-text available
Retinal degeneration is a form of neurodegenerative disease and is the leading cause of vision loss globally. The Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are primary components of the innate immune system involved in signal transduction. Here we show that TLR2 induces complement factors C3 and CFB, the common and rate-limiting factors of the alternative pathway...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNA molecules that have powerful regulatory properties, with the ability to regulate multiple messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and biological pathways. MicroRNA-223-3p (miR-223) is known to be a critical regulator of the innate immune response, and its dysregulation is thought to play a role in inflamma...
Article
Full-text available
The precise control of cytokine production by innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) and their T cell adaptive system counterparts is critical to mounting a proper host defense immune response without inducing collateral damage and autoimmunity. Unlike T cells that differentiate into functionally divergent subsets upon antigen recognition, ILCs are developme...
Article
Rationale: Müller cells play an essential role in maintaining the health of retinal photoreceptors. Dysfunction of stressed Müller cells often results in photoreceptor degeneration. However, how these cells communicate under stress and the signalling pathways involved remain unclear. In this study, we inhibited the MAPK (ERK1/2) signalling, mainly...
Article
The pathogenesis of outer retinal degenerations has been linked to the elevation of cytokines that orchestrate pro-inflammatory responses within the retinal milieu, and which are thought to play a role in diseases such as geographic atrophy (GA), an advanced form of AMD. Here we sought investigate the anti-inflammatory and mechanistic properties of...
Article
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by multiple alterations in cytokine expression and is a risk factor for colon cancer. The Omega class glutathione transferase GSTO1-1 regulates the release of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin 1β (IL-1β) and interleukin 18 (IL-18) by deglutathionylating NEK7 in the NLRP3 inflammasome. When...
Article
Full-text available
Interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP), also known as retinol binding protein 3 (RBP3), is a lipophilic glycoprotein specifically secreted by photoreceptors. Enriched in the interphotoreceptor matrix (IPM) and recycled by the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), IRBP is essential for the vision of all vertebrates as it facilitates the tran...
Article
Purpose: The use of small non-coding nucleic acids, such as siRNA and miRNA, has allowed for a deeper understanding of gene functions, as well as for development of gene therapies for complex neurodegenerative diseases, including retinal degeneration. For effective delivery into the eye and transfection of the retina, suitable transfection methods...
Article
Full-text available
Activation of the inflammasome is involved in the progression of retinal degenerative diseases, in particular, in the pathogenesis of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), with NLRP3 activation the focus of many investigations. In this study, we used genetic and pharmacological approaches to explore the role of the inflammasome in a mouse model o...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The role of the alternative complement pathway and its mediation by retinal microglia and macrophages, is well-established in the pathogenesis of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). However, the contribution of the classical complement pathway towards the progression of retinal degenerations is not fully understood, including the r...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Glutathione-S-transferase omega 1-1 (GSTO1-1) is a cytosolic glutathione transferase enzyme, involved in glutathionylation, toll-like receptor signaling, and calcium channel regulation. GSTO1-1 dysregulation has been implicated in oxidative stress and inflammation, and contributes to the pathogenesis of several diseases and neurological d...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: We sought to determine the role and retinal cellular location of microRNA-124 (miR-124) in a neuroinflammatory model of retinal degeneration. Further, we explored the anti-inflammatory relationship of miR-124 with a predicted messenger RNA (mRNA) binding partner, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (Ccl2), which is crucially involved in inflam...
Article
Full-text available
The pathogenesis of many retinal degenerations, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is punctuated by an ill-defined network of sterile inflammatory responses. The delineation of innate and adaptive immune milieu among the broad leukocyte infiltrate, and the gene networks, which construct these responses, are poorly described in the eye....
Article
Full-text available
The complement system is highly implicated in both the prevalence and progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Complement system inhibitors therefore have potential therapeutic value in managing excessive activation of the complement pathways in retinal degenerations. The vaccinia virus complement control protein (VCP) has been shown...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Systemic increases in reactive oxygen species, and their association with inflammation, have been proposed as an underlying mechanism linking obesity and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Studies have found increased levels of oxidative stress biomarkers and inflammatory cytokines in obese individuals; however, the correlation between...
Preprint
Full-text available
The pathogenesis of many retinal degenerations, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is punctuated by an ill-defined network of sterile inflammatory responses. The delineation of innate and adaptive immune milieu amongst the broad leukocyte infiltrate, and the gene networks which construct these responses, are poorly described in the eye...
Article
Photobiomodulation (PBM) with 670 nm light has been shown to accelerate wound healing in soft tissue injuries, and also to protect neuronal tissues. However, little data exist on its effects on the non-neuronal components of the retina, such as Müller cells (MCs), which are the principal macroglia of the retina that play a role in maintaining retin...
Chapter
MicroRNA (miRNA) are a class of endogenously expressed small non-coding RNA molecules that function by repressing or silencing post-transcriptional gene expression. While miRNAs were only identified in humans as recently as the turn of this century, some miRNA-based agents are already in Phase 2 clinical trials (Christopher et al. 2016). This rapid...
Article
Müller cells, the supporting cells of the retina, play a key role in responding to retinal stress by releasing chemokines, including CCL2, to recruit microglia and macrophages (MG/MΦ) into the damaged retina. Photobiomodulation (PBM) with 670 nm light has been shown to reduce inflammation in models of retinal degeneration. In this study, we aimed t...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Complement system dysregulation is strongly linked to the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Deposition of complement including C3 within the lesions in atrophic AMD is thought to contribute to lesion growth, although the contribution of local cellular sources remains unclear. We investigated the role of retinal microg...
Thesis
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness amongst the Western population, with an annual cost of 350 billion dollars worldwide. This disease affects a specialised region in the central retina, the macula, where photoreceptors and the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells begin to degenerate upon the onset of AMD. In...
Article
Light–induced degeneration in rodent retinas is an established model for of retinal degeneration, including the roles of oxidative stress and neuroinflammatory activity. In these models, photoreceptor death is elicited via photo-oxidative stress, and is exacerbated by recruitment of subretinal macrophages and activation of immune pathways including...
Article
Full-text available
The activity of macrophages is implicated in the progression of retinal pathologies such as atrophic age-related macular degeneration (AMD), where they accumulate among the photoreceptor layer and subretinal space. This process is aided by the local expression of chemokines, which furnish these cells with directional cues that augment their migrati...
Article
Full-text available
Diseases of the retina are difficult to treat as the retina lies deep within the eye. Invasive methods of drug delivery are often needed to treat these diseases. Chronic retinal diseases such as retinal oedema or neovascularization usually require multiple intraocular injections to effectively treat the condition. However, the risks associated with...

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