During diabetic retinopathy (DR) progression, the retina undergoes various metabolic changes, including hypoxia-signalling cascade induction in the cells of retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE). The overexpression of hypoxic inducible factors causes transcription of many target genes including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The RPE cells form the outer blood retinal barrier (oBRB), a specialized structure that regulates ions and metabolites flux into the retina to maintain a suitable quality of its extracellular microenvironment. VEGF worsens retinal condition since its secretion from the basolateral compartment of RPE cells compromises the barrier's integrity and induces choroidal neovascularization. In this work, we hypothesized that PACAP prevents the damage to oBRB and controls choroidal neovascularization through the induction of ADNP. Firstly, we demonstrated that ADNP is expressed in Streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic animals. To validate our hypothesis, we cultured endothelial cells (H5V) forming vessels-like structures, in a conditioned medium (CM) derived from ARPE-19 cells exposed to hyperglycaemic/hypoxic insult, containing a known VEGF concentration. The involvement of PACAP-ADNP axis on oBRB integrity was evaluated through the measurement of trans-epithelial-electrical resistance and permeability assay performed on ARPE cell monolayer cultured in CM and by analysing the expression of two tight junction forming proteins, ZO1 and occludin. By culturing H5V in CM, we demonstrated that PACAP-ADNP axis counteracted vessels-like structures formation promoted by VEGF. In conclusion, the results suggested a primary role of PACAP/ADNP axis in preventing oBRB damage and in controlling aberrant choroidal neovascularization induced by VEGF secreted from RPE cells exposed to hyperglycaemia/hypoxic insult in DR.

PACAP-ADNP axis prevents outer retinal barrier breakdown and choroidal neovascularization by interfering with VEGF secreted from retinal pigmented epitelium cells

D'Amico, Agata Grazia;Maugeri, Grazia;Lombardo, Claudia;Saccone, Salvatore;Federico, Concetta;Giunta, Salvatore;Bucolo, Claudio;D'Agata, Velia
2023-01-01

Abstract

During diabetic retinopathy (DR) progression, the retina undergoes various metabolic changes, including hypoxia-signalling cascade induction in the cells of retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE). The overexpression of hypoxic inducible factors causes transcription of many target genes including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The RPE cells form the outer blood retinal barrier (oBRB), a specialized structure that regulates ions and metabolites flux into the retina to maintain a suitable quality of its extracellular microenvironment. VEGF worsens retinal condition since its secretion from the basolateral compartment of RPE cells compromises the barrier's integrity and induces choroidal neovascularization. In this work, we hypothesized that PACAP prevents the damage to oBRB and controls choroidal neovascularization through the induction of ADNP. Firstly, we demonstrated that ADNP is expressed in Streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic animals. To validate our hypothesis, we cultured endothelial cells (H5V) forming vessels-like structures, in a conditioned medium (CM) derived from ARPE-19 cells exposed to hyperglycaemic/hypoxic insult, containing a known VEGF concentration. The involvement of PACAP-ADNP axis on oBRB integrity was evaluated through the measurement of trans-epithelial-electrical resistance and permeability assay performed on ARPE cell monolayer cultured in CM and by analysing the expression of two tight junction forming proteins, ZO1 and occludin. By culturing H5V in CM, we demonstrated that PACAP-ADNP axis counteracted vessels-like structures formation promoted by VEGF. In conclusion, the results suggested a primary role of PACAP/ADNP axis in preventing oBRB damage and in controlling aberrant choroidal neovascularization induced by VEGF secreted from RPE cells exposed to hyperglycaemia/hypoxic insult in DR.
2023
Hyperglycaemia
Hypoxia, VEGF
Outer blood-retinal-barrier
PACAP
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/576589
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