Diabetic retinopathy, a major cause of vision loss, is currently treated with anti-VEGF agents. Here we tested two hypotheses: (i) high glucose damages retinal pericytes, the cell layer surrounding endothelial cells, via VEGF induction, which may be counteracted by anti-VEGFs and (ii) activation of PLA2/COX-2 pathway by high glucose might be upstream and/or downstream of VEGF in perycites, as previously observed in endothelial cells. Human retinal pericytes were treated with high glucose (25mM) for 48h and/or anti-VEGFs (40μg/ml aflibercept, 25μg/ml bevacizumab, 10μg/ml ranibizumab). All anti-VEGFs significantly prevented high glucose-induced cell damage (assessed by LDH release) and improved cell viability (assessed by MTT and Evans blue). High glucose-induced VEGF-A expression, as detected both at mRNA (qPCR) and protein (ELISA) level, while receptor (VEGFR1 and VEGFR2) expression, detected in control condition, was unaffected by treatments. High glucose induced also activation of PLA2/COX-2 pathway, as revealed by increased phosphorylation of cPLA2, COX-2 expression and PGE2 release. Treatment with cPLA2 (50μM AACOCF3) and COX-2 (5μM NS-392) inhibitors prevented both cell damage and VEGF-A induced by high glucose. Finally, challenge with exogenous VEGF-A (10ng/ml) induced VEGF-A expression, while anti-VEGFs reduced VEGF-A expression induced by either high glucose or exogenous VEGF-A. These data indicate that high glucose directly damages pericytes through activation of PLA2/COX-2/VEGF-A pathway. Furthermore, a kind of feed-forward loop between cPLA2/COX-2/PG axis and VEGF appears to operate in this system. Thus, anti-VEGFs afford protection of pericytes from high glucose by inhibiting this loop.
|Titolo:||Aflibercept, bevacizumab and ranibizumab prevent glucose-induced damage in human retinal pericytes in vitro, through a PLA2/COX-2/VEGF-A pathway|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|