MALAT1: An Epigenetic Regulator of Inflammation in Diabetic Retinopathy.
ABSTRACT: Despite possessing limited protein-coding potential, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been implicated in a myriad of pathologic conditions. Most well documented in cancer, one prominent intergenic lncRNA known as MALAT1 is notorious for its role in impacting epigenetic mechanisms. In this study, we established a novel epigenetic paradigm for MALAT in diabetic retinopathy (DR) by employing siRNA-mediated MALAT1 knockdown in human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs), a Malat1 knockout animal model, vitreous humor from diabetic patients, pharmacological inhibitors for histone and DNA methylation, RNA immunoprecipitation, western blotting, and a unique DNA methylation array to determine glucose-related alterations in MALAT1. Our findings indicated that MALAT1 is capable of impacting the expressions of inflammatory transcripts through its association with components of the PRC2 complex in diabetes. Furthermore, the vitreous humors from diabetic patients revealed increased expressions of MALAT1, TNF-?, and IL-6. Intriguingly, our DNA methylation array demonstrated that transient high glucose exposure in HRECs does not contribute to significant methylation alterations at CpG sites across the MALAT1 gene. However, global inhibition of DNA methyltransferases induced significant increases in MALAT1 and associated inflammatory transcripts in HRECs. Our findings collectively demonstrate the importance of MALAT1 in inflammation and epigenetic regulation in DR.
Project description:We investigate the metabolomic profile of reactive persulfides and polysulfides in the aqueous and vitreous humors. Eighteen eyes of 18 consecutive patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) and diabetic retinopathy underwent microincision vitrectomy combined with cataract surgery. Samples of the aqueous and vitreous humors were collected and underwent mass spectrometry-based metabolomic profiling of reactive persulfides and polysulfides (polysulfidomics). The effect of reactive polysulfide species on the viability of immortalized retinal cells (the RGC-5 cell line) under oxidative stress (induced with H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>) was also evaluated with an Alamar Blue assay. The experiments showed that cysteine persulfides (CysSSH), oxidized glutathione trisulfide (GSSSG) and cystine were elevated in the aqueous humor, and CysSSH, Cys, and cystine were elevated in the vitreous. Furthermore, GSSSG, cystine, and CysSSH levels were correlated in the aqueous and vitreous humors. A comparison, in DM and control subjects, of plasma levels of reactive persulfides and polysulfides showed that they did not differ. In vitro findings revealed that reactive polysulfide species increased cell viability under oxidative stress. Thus, various reactive persulfides and polysulfides appear to be present in the eye, and some reactive sulfide species, which have a protective effect against oxidative stress, are upregulated in the aqueous and vitreous humors of DM eyes.
Project description:The apoptosis of human umbilical vein endothelial cells has been reportedly induced by the protein transthyretin (TTR). In human ocular tissue, TTR is generally considered to be secreted mainly by retinal pigment epithelial cells (hRPECs); however, whether TTR affects the development of neovascularization in diabetic retinopathy (DR) remains unclear.Natural and simulated DR media were used to culture human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (hRECs). Hyperglycemia was simulated by increasing the glucose concentration from 5.5 mM up to 25 mM, while hypoxia was induced with 200 µM CoCl2. To understand the effects of TTR on hRECs, cell proliferation was investigated under natural and DR conditions. Overexpression of TTR, an in vitro wound-healing assay, and a tube formation assay were employed to study the repression of TTR on hRECs. Real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to study the mRNA levels of DR-related genes, such as Tie2, VEGFR1, VEGFR2, Angpt1, and Angpt2.The proliferation of hRECs was significantly decreased in the simulated hyperglycemic and hypoxic DR environments. The cells were further repressed by added exogenous or endogenous TTR only under hyperglycemic conditions. The in vitro migration and tube formation processes of the hRECs were inhibited with TTR; furthermore, in the hyperglycemia and hyperglycemia/hypoxia environments, the levels of Tie2 and Angpt1 mRNA were enhanced with exogenous TTR, while those of VEGFR1, VEGFR2, and Angpt1 were repressed.In hyperglycemia, the proliferation, migration, and neovascularization of hRECs were significantly inhibited by TTR. The key genes for DR neovascularization, including Tie2, VEGFR1, VEGFR2, Angpt1, and Angpt2, were regulated by TTR. Under DR conditions, TTR significantly represses neovascularization by inhibiting the proliferation, migration and tube formation of hRECs.
Project description:To study Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy)-induced epigenetic modifications as potential mechanisms of blood retinal barrier (BRB) dysfunction, retinas isolated from three- week-old mice with elevated level of Homocysteine (Hcy) due to lack of the enzyme cystathionine ?-synthase (cbs-/- , cbs+/- and cbs+/+ ), human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs), and human retinal pigmented epithelial cells (ARPE-19) treated with or without Hcy were evaluated for (1) histone deacetylases (HDAC), (2) DNA methylation (DNMT), and (3) miRNA analysis. Differentially expressed miRNAs in mice with HHcy were further compared with miRNA analysis of diabetic mice retinas (STZ) and miRNAs within the exosomes released from Hcy-treated RPEs. Differentially expressed miRNAs were further evaluated for predicted target genes and associated pathways using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. HHcy significantly increased HDAC and DNMT activity in HRECs, ARPE-19, and cbs mice retinas, whereas inhibition of HDAC and DNMT decreased Hcy-induced BRB dysfunction. MiRNA profiling detected 127 miRNAs in cbs+/- and 39 miRNAs in cbs-/- mice retinas, which were significantly differentially expressed compared to cbs+/+ . MiRNA pathway analysis showed their involvement in HDAC and DNMT activation, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and oxidative stresses, inflammation, hypoxia, and angiogenesis pathways. Hcy-induced epigenetic modifications may be involved in retinopathies associated with HHcy, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
Project description:Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a well-known microvascular complication related to inflammation. Mcc950 is a potent and specific inhibitor of the NLRP3 inflammasome but its influence on DR has not been studied. Thus, we evaluated the anti-inflammatory effects of Mcc950 on high-glucose-induced human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs) and the potential underlying mechanism. In surgical excised proliferative membranes from DR patients, high expression of NLRP3, caspase 1 and IL-1? was observed and co-localization of NLRP3 and IL-1? occurred in CD31+ labeled HRECs. Moreover, in high-glucose-stimulated HRECs, increased production of the NLRP3 inflammasome activation and severe apoptosis were rescued with Mcc950 treatment. Additionally, the inhibitory effect of Mcc950 was mimicked through downregulation of NEK7 by siRNA in high-glucose-induced HRECs and Mcc950 treatment remarkably inhibited Nek7 and NLRP3 interactions by co-immunoprecipitation, suggesting that Mcc950 may be a potentially protective agent against inflammation, likely via downregulation of the Nek7-NLRP3 pathway. In conclusion, Mcc950 inhibited HREC dysfunction under high-glucose conditions and this research may offer insight for future pharmaceutical approaches for treating DR.
Project description:Several studies have suggested that there is a link between membrane attack complex (MAC) deposition in the retina and the progression of diabetic retinopathy (DR). Our recent investigation demonstrated that circulating IgG-laden extracellular vesicles contribute to an increase in retinal vascular permeability in DR through activation of the complement system. However, the mechanism through which extracellular vesicle-induced complement activation contributes to retinal vascular cytolytic damage in DR is not well understood. In this study, we demonstrate that IgG-laden extracellular vesicles in rat plasma activate the classical complement pathway, and in vitro Streptozotocin (STZ)-induced rat diabetic plasma results in MAC deposition and cytolytic damage in human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs). Moreover, removal of the plasma extracellular vesicles reduced the MAC deposition and abrogated cytolytic damage seen in HRECs. Together, the results of this study demonstrate that complement activation by IgG-laden extracellular vesicles in plasma could lead to MAC deposition and contribute to endothelium damage and progression of DR.
Project description:Background:Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a serious microvascular complication of diabetes. This study demonstrates the antiangiogenic effects of scutellarin (SCU) on high glucose- and hypoxia-stimulated human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs) and on a diabetic rat model by oral administration. The antiangiogenic mechanisms of SCU in vitro and in vivo were investigated. Method:HRECs were cultured in high glucose- (30?mM D-glucose) and hypoxia (cobalt chloride-treated)-stimulated diabetic condition to evaluate the antiangiogenic effects of SCU by CCK-8 test, cell migration experiment (wound healing and transwell), and tube formation experiment. A streptozotocin-induced type II diabetic rat model was established to measure the effects of oral administration of SCU on protecting retinal microvascular dysfunction by Doppler waveforms and HE staining. We further used western blot, luciferase reporter assay, and immunofluorescence staining to study the antiangiogenic mechanism of SCU. The protein levels of phospho-ERK, phospho-FAK, phospho-Src, VEGF, and PEDF were examined in HRECs and retina of diabetic rats. Result:Our results indicated that SCU attenuated diabetes-induced HREC proliferation, migration, and tube formation and decreased neovascularization and resistive index in the retina of diabetic rats by oral administration. SCU suppressed the crosstalk of phospho-ERK, phospho-FAK, phospho-Src, and VEGF in vivo and in vitro. Conclusions:These results suggested that SCU can be an oral drug to alleviate microvascular dysfunction of DR and exerts its antiangiogenic effects by inhibiting the expression of the crosstalk of VEGF, p-ERK, p-FAK, and p-Src.
Project description:Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have important roles in diverse biological processes. Our previous study has revealed that lncRNA-MALAT1 deregulation is implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetes-related microvascular disease, diabetic retinopathy (DR). However, the role of MALAT1 in retinal vasculature remodeling still remains elusive. Here we show that MALAT1 expression is significantly upregulated in the retinas of STZ-induced diabetic rats and db/db mice. MALAT1 knockdown could obviously ameliorate DR in vivo, as shown by pericyte loss, capillary degeneration, microvascular leakage, and retinal inflammation. Moreover, MALAT1 knockdown could regulate retinal endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and tube formation in vitro. The crosstalk between MALAT1 and p38 MAPK signaling pathway is involved in the regulation of endothelial cell function. MALAT1 upregulation represents a critical pathogenic mechanism for diabetes-induced microvascular dysfunction. Inhibition of MALAT1 may serve as a potential target for anti-angiogenic therapy for diabetes-related microvascular complications.
Project description:Purpose:The aim of this study was to investigate the underlying mechanisms of diabetic retinopathy (DR) development. Methods:Real-Time qPCR was used to detect Casein kinase 2 interacting protein-1 (CKIP-1) and Nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) mRNA levels. Western Blot was employed to detect protein levels. Malondialdehyde (MDA) assay kit, superoxide dismutase (SOD) kit and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) kit were used to evaluate oxidative stress in high-glucose treated human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs). Calcein-AM/propidium iodide (PI) double stain kit was employed to detect cell apoptosis. Enzyme-linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA) was used to detect inflammation associated cytokines secretion. Co-immunoprecipitation (CO-IP) was performed to investigate the interactions between CKIP-1 and Nrf2. Luciferase reporter gene system was used to detect the transcriptional activity of Nrf2. Results:CKIP-1 was significantly downregulated in either DR tissues or high-glucose treated HRECs comparing to the Control groups. Besides, high-glucose (25 mM) inhibited HRECs viability and induced oxidative stress, inflammation associated cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β) secretion and cell apoptosis, which were all reversed by synergistically overexpressing CKIP-1 and aggravated by knocking down CKIP-1. Of note, we found that overexpressed CKIP-1 activated Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway and increased its downstream targets including HO-1, NQO-1, γGCS and SOD in high-glucose treated HRECs. Further results also showed that CKIP-1 regulated cell viability, oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis in high-glucose treated HRECs by activating Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway. Conclusion:We concluded that overexpressed CKIP-1 alleviated DR progression by activating Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway.
Project description:Purpose:High circulating levels of the hormone prolactin (PRL) protect against experimental diabetic retinopathy (DR) due to the retinal accumulation of vasoinhibin, a PRL fragment that inhibits blood vessel permeability and growth. A phase 2 clinical trial is investigating a new therapy for DR based on elevating serum PRL levels with levosulpiride, a prokinetic dopamine D2 receptor blocker. Here, we tested whether levosulpiride-induced hyperprolactinemia elevates PRL and vasoinhibin in the vitreous of volunteer patients with proliferative DR (PDR) undergoing elective pars plana vitrectomy. Methods:Patients were randomized to receive placebo (lactose pill, orally TID; n = 19) or levosulpiride (25 mg orally TID; n = 18) for the 7 days before vitrectomy. Vitreous samples from untreated non-diabetic (n = 10) and PDR (n = 17) patients were also studied. Results:Levosulpiride elevated the systemic (101 ± 13 [SEM] vs. 9.2 ± 1.3 ng/mL, P < 0.0001) and vitreous (3.2 ± 0.4 vs. 1.5 ± 0.2 ng/mL, P < 0.0001) levels of PRL, and both levels were directly correlated (r = 0.58, P < 0.0002). The vitreous from non-diabetic patients or from PDR patients treated with levosulpiride, but not from placebo-treated PDR patients, inhibited the basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)- and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced proliferation of endothelial cells in culture. Vasoinhibin-neutralizing antibodies reduced the vitreous antiangiogenic effect. Matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) in the vitreous cleaved PRL to vasoinhibin, and their activity was higher in non-diabetic than in PDR patients. Conclusions:Levosulpiride increases the levels of PRL in the vitreous of PDR patients and promotes its MMP-mediated conversion to vasoinhibin, which can inhibit angiogenesis in DR. Translational Relevance:These findings support the potential therapeutic benefit of levosulpiride against vision loss in diabetes.
Project description:BACKGROUND/AIM:Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a type of retinal damage caused by a complication of diabetes and is a major cause of blindness in working-age adults. Ecto-NOX disulfide-thiol exchanger 1 (ENOX1) is a member of the ecto-NOX family involved in the plasma membrane electron transport pathway. This study aimed to investigate the role of ENOX1 in the development of DR. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs) and human retinal pigment epithelial cells (HREpiCs) exposed to a high concentration (25 mM) of D-glucose and type 2 diabetes (T2D) mice (+Leprdb/+Leprdb, db/db) with retinopathy were used as models to determine the ENOX1 expression levels there. RESULTS:Our results showed that ENOX1 expression levels did not significantly change in both HRECs and HREpiCs under hyperglycemic conditions for 48 h. Nevertheless, ENOX1 expression increased significantly in T2D mouse retinas, particularly in the photoreceptor layer, compared to the control mouse retinas. CONCLUSION:Different retinal ENOX1 expression in T2D mice and control mice suggested that ENOX1 may be involved in DR development.