Persistent inflammatory state after photoreceptor loss in an animal model of retinal degeneration

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Title: Persistent inflammatory state after photoreceptor loss in an animal model of retinal degeneration
Authors: Noailles, Agustina | Maneu, Victoria | Campello Blasco, Laura | Gómez-Vicente, Violeta | Lax, Pedro | 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 | Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Óptica, Farmacología y Anatomía
Keywords: Retinal degeneration | Persistent inflammatory | Photoreceptor loss
Knowledge Area: Biología Celular | Farmacología | Anatomía y Embriología Humana | Fisiología
Issue Date: 14-Sep-2016
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Citation: Scientific Reports. 2016, 6: 33356. doi:10.1038/srep33356
Abstract: Microglia act as the resident immune cells of the central nervous system, including the retina. In response to damaging stimuli microglia adopt an activated state, which can progress into a phagocytic phenotype and play a potentially harmful role by eliciting the expression and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The aim of the present study was to assess longitudinal changes in microglia during retinal degeneration in the homozygous P23H rat, a model of dominant retinitis pigmentosa. Microglial phenotypes, morphology and density were analyzed by immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and cytokine antibody array. In addition, we performed electroretinograms to evaluate the retinal response. In the P23H retina, sclera, choroid and ciliary body, inflammatory cells increased in number compared with the control at all ages analyzed. As the rats became older, a higher number of amoeboid MHC-II+ cells were observed in the P23H retina, which correlated with an increase in the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. These findings suggest that, in the P23H model, retinal neuroinflammation persists throughout the rat’s life span even after photoreceptor depletion. Therefore, the inclusion of anti-inflammatory drugs at advanced stages of the neurodegenerative process may provide better retinal fitness so the remaining cells could still be used as targets of cellular or gene therapies.
Sponsor: This work was supported by grants from the Spanish Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness-FEDER (BFU2012-36845, BFU2015-67139-R), Instituto de Salud Carlos III (RETICS-FEDER RD12/0034/0010), Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles (ONCE), Asociación Retina Asturias, FUNDALUCE and Fundación Jesús de Gangoiti Barrera.
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: 10.1038/srep33356
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © The Author(s) 2016. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
Peer Review: si
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