Monocyte-Derived Macrophages Are Necessary for Beta-Adrenergic Receptor-Driven Choroidal Neovascularization Inhibition.
ABSTRACT: Purpose:Beta-adrenergic receptor (AR) antagonists, like propranolol, inhibit angiogenesis in multiple ocular conditions through an unknown mechanism. We previously showed that propranolol reduces choroidal neovascularization (CNV) by decreasing interleukin-6 levels. Since macrophages are one of the central producers of interleukin-6, we examined whether macrophages are required for propranolol-driven inhibition of choroidal angiogenesis. Methods:We tested the anti-angiogenic properties of propranolol in the choroidal sprouting assay and the laser-induced CNV model. Bone marrow-derived monocytes (BMDMs) were added to the choroidal sprouting assay and Ccr2-/- mice were subjected to laser-induced CNV. Multi-parameter flow cytometry was performed to characterize the ocular mononuclear phagocyte populations after laser injury and during propranolol treatment. Results:Propranolol reduced choroidal angiogenesis by 41% (P < 0.001) in the choroidal sprouting assay. Similarly, propranolol decreased laser-induced CNV by 50% (P < 0.05) in female mice, with no change in males. BMDMs increased choroidal sprouting by 146% (P < 0.0001), and this effect was ablated by propranolol. Beta-AR inhibition had no effect upon laser-induced CNV area in female Ccr2-/- mice. MHCII+ and MHCII- macrophages increased 20-fold following laser treatment in wildtype mice as compared to untreated mice, and this effect was completely attenuated in lasered Ccr2-/- mice. Moreover, propranolol increased the numbers of MHCII+ and MHCII- macrophages by 1.9 (P = 0.07) and 3.1 (P < 0.05) fold in lasered female mice with no change in macrophage numbers in males. Conclusions:Our data suggest that propranolol inhibits angiogenesis through recruitment of monocyte-derived macrophages in female mice only. These data show the anti-angiogenic nature of beta-AR blocker-recruited monocyte-derived macrophages in CNV.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) commonly causes vision loss from aberrant angiogenesis, termed choroidal neovascularization (CNV). Macrophages are heterogeneous cells that are necessary for experimental CNV, present in human CNV samples, and can display diverse functions, which are dependent upon both their origin and tissue microenvironment. Despite these associations, choroidal macrophage heterogeneity remains unexplored. METHODS:We performed multi-parameter flow cytometry on wildtype (WT) and Ccr2-/- mice after laser injury to identify macrophage subtypes, and determine which subsets originate from classical monocytes. To fate map tissue resident macrophages at steady state and after laser injury, we used the Cx3cr1CreER/+ ; Rosa26zsGFP/+ mouse model. We reanalyzed previously published single-cell RNA-seq of human choroid samples from healthy and nAMD patients to investigate human macrophage heterogeneity, disease association, and function. RESULTS:We identified 4 macrophage subsets in mice: microglia, MHCII+CD11c-, MHCII+CD11c+, and MHCII-. Microglia are tissue resident macrophages at steady state and unaffected by laser injury. At steady state, MHCII- macrophages are long lived, tissue resident macrophages, while MHCII+CD11c- and MHCII+CD11c+ macrophages are partially replenished from blood monocytes. After laser injury, MHCII+CD11c- macrophages are entirely derived from classical monocytes, MHCII- macrophages originate from classical monocytes (90%) and an expansion of tissue resident macrophages (10%), and MHCII+CD11c+ macrophages are derived from classical monocytes (70%), non-classical monocytes (10%), and an expansion of tissue resident macrophages (20%). Single-cell RNA-seq analysis of human choroid found 5 macrophage subsets: two MHCII+CD11C- and three MHCII+CD11C+ populations. One MHCII+CD11C+ subset was 78% derived from a patient with nAMD. Differential expression analysis identified up-regulation of pro-angiogenic gene expression in one MHCII+CD11C- and two MHCII+CD11C+ subsets, including the disease-associated cluster. The upregulated MHCII+CD11C- pro-angiogenic genes were unique compared to the increased MHCII+CD11C+ angiogenesis genes. CONCLUSIONS:Macrophage origin impacts heterogeneity at steady state and after laser injury in mice. Both mice and human patients demonstrate similar macrophage subtypes. Two discrete pro-angiogenic macrophage populations exist in the human choroid. Targeting specific, pro-angiogenic macrophage subsets is a potential novel therapeutic for nAMD.
Project description:Age-related decreases in autophagy contribute to the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We have now studied the interaction between autophagy impaired in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and the responses of macrophages. We find that dying RPE cells can activate the macrophage inflammasome and promote angiogenesis. In vitro, inhibiting rotenone-induced autophagy in RPE cells elicits caspase-3 mediated cell death. Co-culture of damaged RPE with macrophages leads to the secretion of IL-1?, IL-6 and nitrite oxide. Exogenous IL-6 protects the dysfunctional RPE but IL-1? causes enhanced cell death. Furthermore, IL-1? toxicity is more pronounced in dysfunctional RPE cells showing reduced IRAK3 gene expression. Co-culture of macrophages with damaged RPE also elicits elevated levels of pro-angiogenic proteins that promote ex vivo choroidal vessel sprouting. In vivo, impaired autophagy in the eye promotes photoreceptor and RPE degeneration and recruitment of inflammasome-activated macrophages. The degenerative tissue environment drives an enhanced pro-angiogenic response, demonstrated by increased size of laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV) lesions. The contribution of macrophages was confirmed by depletion of CCR2(+) monocytes, which attenuates CNV in the presence of RPE degeneration. Our results suggest that the interplay between perturbed RPE homeostasis and activated macrophages influences key features of AMD development.
Project description:Background:Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of blindness in the developed world, usually affects individuals older than 60 years of age. The majority of visual loss in this disease is attributable to the development of choroidal neovascularization (CNV). Mononuclear phagocytes, including monocytes and their tissue descendants, macrophages, have long been implicated in the pathogenesis of neovascular AMD (nvAMD). Current therapies for nvAMD are based on targeting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This study is aimed at assessing if perturbation of chemokine signaling and mononuclear cell recruitment may serve as novel complementary therapeutic targets for nvAMD. Methods:A promiscuous chemokine antagonist (BKT130), aflibercept treatment, or combined BKT130+aflibercept treatment was tested in an in vivo laser-induced model of choroidal neovascularization (LI-CNV) and in an ex vivo choroidal sprouting assay (CSA). Quantification of CD11b+ cell in the CNV area was performed, and mRNA levels of genes implicated in CNV growth were measured in the retina and RPE-choroid. Results:BKT130 reduced the CNV area and recruitment of CD11b+ cells by 30-35%. No effect of BKT130 on macrophages' proangiogenic phenotype was demonstrated ex vivo, but a lower VEGFA and CCR2 expression was found in the RPE-choroid and a lower expression of TNF? and NOS1 was found in both RPE-choroid and retinal tissues in the LI-CNV model under treatment with BKT130. Conclusions:Targeting monocyte recruitment via perturbation of chemokine signaling can reduce the size of experimental CNV and should be evaluated as a potential novel therapeutic modality for nvAMD.
Project description:This study addresses the hypothesis that age-related stresses upregulate Thy-1 in choroidal endothelial cells (CECs) and contribute to CEC activation and migration, processes important in choroidal neovascularization (CNV).Measurements were made of Thy-1 protein (Western blot) in CECs and Thy-1 mRNA (real time quantitative PCR) in CECs treated with VEGF, CCL11, or PBS or in RPE/choroids from young or old donors or lasered or nonlasered mice. Immunolabeled Thy-1 in ocular sections was compared from young versus old human donor eyes or those with or without neovascular AMD or from lasered versus nonlasered mice. Choroidal endothelial cells transfected with Thy-1 or control siRNA or pretreated with Thy-1 blocking peptide or control were stimulated with VEGF or 7-ketocholesterol (7-KC). Choroidal endothelial cell migration, proliferation, cytoskeletal stress fibers, Rac1 activation, and phosphorylated VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2), integrin ?3, and Src were measured. Statistics were performed using ANOVA.Thy-1 was expressed in retinal ganglion cells and in vascular endothelial-cadherin-labeled choroid and localized to human or mouse laser-induced CNV lesions. Thy-1 protein and mRNA were significantly increased in CECs treated with VEGF or CCL11 and in RPE/choroids from aged versus young donor eyes or from lasered mice versus nonlasered controls. Knockdown or inhibition of Thy-1 in CECs significantly reduced VEGF-induced CEC migration and proliferation, stress fiber formation and VEGFR2, Src, integrin ?3 and Rac1 activation, and 7-KC-induced Rac1 and Src activation.Thy-1 in CECs regulates VEGF-induced CEC activation and migration and links extracellular 7-KC to intracellular signaling. Future studies elucidating Thy-1 mechanisms in neovascular AMD are warranted.
Project description:Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) is the hallmark of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the leading causes of blindness in the elderly. Although the pathogenesis of CNV is not clear, a number of studies show that ocular-infiltrating macrophages and inflammation play a critical role in the development of CNV. TNF?-stimulated gene/protein (TSG)-6 is a multifunctional endogenous protein that has anti-inflammatory activities partly by regulating macrophage activation. Therefore, we here investigated the therapeutic potential of TSG-6 in a rat model of CNV induced by laser photocoagulation. Time course analysis showed that the expression of VEGF and pro-inflammatory cytokines in the choroid was up-regulated early after laser injury, and gradually decreased to baseline over 14 days. An intravitreal injection of TSG-6 suppressed the expression of VEGF and pro-inflammatory cytokines including CCL2, and reduced the size of CNV. Also, the number of Iba(+) and CCR2(+) cells including infiltrating macrophages was markedly lower in the CNV lesion of TSG-6-treated eyes. Further analysis identified CCR2(+) CD11b(+) CD11c(+) cells and CCR2(+) CD11b(-)CD11c(+) cells as the cell populations that were increased by laser injury and reduced by TSG-6 treatment. Together, the results demonstrate that TSG-6 inhibits inflammation and CCR2(+) monocyte recruitment into the choroid, and suppresses the development of CNV.
Project description:Inflammatory neovascularization, such as choroidal neovascularization (CNV), occur in the presence of Notch expressing macrophages. DLL4s anti-angiogenic effect on endothelial cells (EC) has been widely recognized, but its influence on Notch signaling on macrophages and its overall effect in inflammatory neovascularization is not well understood. We identified macrophages and ECs as the main Notch 1 and Notch 4 expressing cells in CNV. A soluble fraction spanning Ser28-Pro525 of the murine extracellular DLL4 domain (sDLL4/28-525) activated the Notch pathway, as it induces Notch target genes in macrophages and ECs and inhibited EC proliferation and vascular sprouting in aortic rings. In contrast, sDLL4/28-525 increased pro-angiogenic VEGF, and IL-1? expression in macrophages responsible for increased vascular sprouting observed in aortic rings incubated in conditioned media from sDLL4/28-525 stimulated macrophages. In vivo, Dll4(+/-) mice developed significantly more CNV and sDLL4/28-525 injections inhibited CNV in Dll4(+/-) CD1 mice. Similarly, sDLL4/28-525 inhibited CNV in C57Bl6 and its effect was reversed by a ?-secretase inhibitor that blocks Notch signaling. The inhibition occurred despite increased VEGF, IL-1? expression in infiltrating inflammatory macrophages in sDLL4/28-525 treated mice and might be due to direct inhibition of EC proliferation in laser-induced CNV as demonstrated by EdU labelling in vivo. In conclusion, Notch activation on macrophages and ECs leads to opposing effects in inflammatory neovascularization in situations such as CNV.
Project description:To determine the involvement of sympathetic activity in choroidal neovascularization (CNV) using laser-induced CNV in a mouse model.We investigated changes in the proportions of intraocular lymphocytes, granulocytes, and three macrophage subtypes (Ly6Chi, Ly6Cint, and Ly6Clo) after laser injury in mice using flow cytometry, and evaluated CNV lesion size in mice lacking inflammatory cells. Further, we evaluated the lesion size in mice administered the ?3 receptor antagonist, splenic-denervated and splenectomized mice. We also assessed changes in the proportions of intraocular macrophages and peripheral blood monocytes in splenic-denervated and splenectomized mice. Lastly, lesion size was compared between splenic-denervated mice with or without adoptive transfer of macrophages following laser injury. After Ly5.1 mice spleen-derived Ly6Chi cells were transferred into Ly5.2 mice, the proportions of intraocular Ly5.1+Ly6Chi cells were compared.In WT mice, the proportion of CD4+ T cells recruited into the eye increased progressively from day 3 to day 7 after laser injury, whereas, intraocular CD8+ T cells did not change significantly. Proportions of B220+ cells, granulocytes, and two subtypes of intraocular macrophages (Ly6Chi and Ly6Clo) peaked at day 3 following laser injury. In contrast, Ly6Cint/loCD64+ subtype showed a significantly higher percentage at day 7 after laser injury. There were no differences in lesion size between CD4-/-or Rag2-/-mice and controls, whereas lesion size was significantly reduced in CCR2-/- mice and clodronate liposome-treated mice. CNV lesion area was significantly reduced in mice with ?3 blocker treatment, splenic-denervated and splenectomized mice compared with controls. Intraocular Ly6Chi macrophages were also reduced by splenic denervation or splenectomy. Adoptive transfer of spleen-derived Ly6Chi cells increased the lesion size in splenic-denervated mice. Compared with controls, intraocular donor-derived Ly6Chi cells recruited into the eye were reduced in splenic-denervated and splenectomized mice.Although lymphocytes had little effect on CNV formation, Ly6Chi macrophages/monocytes exacerbated CNV in mice. Sympathetic activity might contribute to CNV via the recruitment of macrophages to the eye.
Project description:Purpose:The purpose of this study was to investigate the involvement of CD93 and Multimerin-2 in three choroidal neovascularization (CNV) models and to evaluate their contribution in the neovascular progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Methods:Choroidal neovascular membranes collected during surgery from AMD patients were analyzed by microscopy methods. Laser-induced CNV mouse models and choroid sprouting assays (CSAs) were carried out using the CD93 knockout mouse model. An original ex vivo CSA of vascular angiogenesis, employing choroid tissues isolated from human donors, was developed. Results:In contrast to healthy choroid endothelium, hyperproliferative choroidal endothelial cells (ECs) of AMD patients expressed high levels of CD93, and Multimerin-2 was abundantly deposited along the choroidal neovasculature. CD93 knockout mice showed a significant reduced neovascularization after laser photocoagulation, and their choroidal ECs displayed a decreased ability to produce sprouts in ex vivo angiogenesis assays. Moreover, the presence of an antibody able to hamper the CD93/Multimerin-2 interaction reduced vascular sprouting in the human CSA. Conclusions:Our results demonstrate that CD93 and its interaction with Multimerin-2 play an important role in pathological vascularization of the choroid, disclosing new possibilities for therapeutic intervention to neovascular AMD.
Project description:Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) is associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of vision loss among elderly people. Vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF) is essential for the development and progression of AMD, and VEGF signaling molecules are effective targets for the treatment of AMD. We recently reported that activator of G-protein signaling 8 (AGS8), a receptor-independent G?? regulator, is involved in VEGF-induced angiogenesis in cultured endothelial cells (EC); however, the role of AGS8 in CNV is not yet understood. This study aimed to explore the role of AGS8 in CNV in cultured cells, explanted choroid tissue, and laser-induced CNV in a mouse AMD model. AGS8 knockdown in cultured choroidal EC inhibited VEGF-induced VEGFR-2 phosphorylation, cell proliferation, and migration. AGS8 knockdown also downregulated cell sprouting from mouse choroidal tissue in ex vivo culture. A mouse model of laser-induced CNV, created to analyze the roles of AGS8 in vivo, demonstrated that AGS8 mRNA was significantly upregulated in choroidal lesions and AGS8 was specifically expressed in the neovasculature. Local AGS8 knockdown in intravitreal tissue significantly inhibited laser-induced AGS8 upregulation and suppressed CNV, suggesting that AGS8 knockdown in the choroid has therapeutic potential for AMD. Together, these results demonstrate that AGS8 plays critical roles in VEGF-induced CNV.
Project description:Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a progressive chronic disease of the central retina, is associated with aging and is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. Here, we demonstrate that leukotriene B4 (LTB4) receptor 1 (BLT1) promotes laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in a mouse model for wet-type AMD. CNV was significantly less in BLT1-deficient (BLT1-KO) mice compared with BLT1-WT controls. Expression of several proangiogenic and profibrotic factors was lower in BLT1-KO eyes than in BLT1-WT eyes. LTB4 production in the eyes was substantially increased in the early phase after laser injury. BLT1 was highly expressed in M2 macrophages in vitro and in vivo, and ocular BLT1+ M2 macrophages were increased in the aged eyes after laser injury. Furthermore, M2 macrophages were rapidly attracted by LTB4 and subsequently produced VEGF-A- through BLT1-mediated signaling. Consequently, intravitreal injection of M2 macrophages augmented CNV formation, which was attenuated by BLT1 deficiency. Thus, laser-induced injury to the retina triggered LTB4 production and attracted M2 macrophages via BLT1, leading to development of CNV. A selective BLT1 antagonist (CP105696) and 3 LTB4 inhibitors (zileuton, MK-886, and bestatin) reduced CNV in a dose-dependent manner. CP105696 also inhibited the accumulation of BLT1+ M2 macrophages in the laser-injured eyes of aged mice. Together, these results indicate that the LTB4-BLT1 axis is a potentially novel therapeutic target for CNV of wet-type AMD.