Microglia activation and neuronal alterations in retinas from COVID-19 patients: correlation with clinical parameters

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Title: Microglia activation and neuronal alterations in retinas from COVID-19 patients: correlation with clinical parameters
Authors: Albertos Arranz, Henar | Martínez Gil, Natalia | Sánchez-Sáez, Xavier | Noailles, Agustina | Monferrer Adsuara, Clara | Remolí Sargues, Lidia | Pérez-Santonja, Juan J. | Lax, Pedro | Calvo Andrés, Ramón | Cuenca, Nicolás
Research Group/s: Neurobiología del Sistema Visual y Terapia de Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (NEUROVIS)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Fisiología, Genética y Microbiología
Keywords: Human eyes | Retina | SARS-CoV-2 | Microglia | Gliosis | Müller cells | ACE2
Issue Date: 1-Mar-2023
Publisher: BMC
Citation: Eye and Vision. 2023, 10:12. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40662-023-00329-2
Abstract: Background Different ocular alterations have been described in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Our aim was to determine whether COVID-19 affected retinal cells and establish correlations with clinical parameters. Methods Retinal sections and flat-mount retinas from human donors with COVID-19 (n = 16) and controls (n = 15) were immunostained. The location of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and the morphology of microglial cells, Müller cells, astrocytes, and photoreceptors were analyzed by confocal microscopy. Microglial quantification and the area occupied by them were measured. Correlations among retinal and clinical parameters were calculated. Results ACE2 was mainly located in the Müller cells, outer segment of cones and retinal pigment epithelium. Cell bodies of Müller cells in COVID-19 group showed greater staining of ACE2 and cellular retinaldehyde-binding protein (CRALBP). The 81.3% of COVID-19 patients presented disorganization of honeycomb-like pattern formed by Müller cells. Gliosis was detected in 56.3% of COVID-19 patients compared to controls (40%) as well as epiretinal membranes (ERMs) or astrocytes protruding (50%). Activated or ameboid-shape microglia was the main sign in the COVID-19 group (93.8%). Microglial migration towards the vessels was greater in the COVID-19 retinas (P < 0.05) and the area occupied by microglia was also reduced (P < 0.01) compared to control group. Cone degeneration was more severe in the COVID-19 group. Duration of the disease, age and respiratory failure were the most relevant clinical data in relation with retinal degeneration. Conclusions The retinas of patients with COVID-19 exhibit glial activation and neuronal alterations, mostly related to the inflammation, hypoxic conditions, and age.
Sponsor: The study was supported from grants funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (FEDER-PID2019-106230RB-I00), Spanish Ministry of Universities (FPU16/04114 and FPU18/02964), National Institute of Health Carlos III (RETICS-FEDER RD16/0008/0016), Generalitat Valenciana (IDIFEDER/2017/064, PROMETEO/2021/024) and Valencia University General Hospital Foundation.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/132583
ISSN: 2326-0254
DOI: 10.1186/s40662-023-00329-2
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © The Author(s) 2023. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40662-023-00329-2
Appears in Collections:INV - NEUROVIS - Artículos de Revistas

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