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Mark A. Fields, Hui Cai, Hannah E. Bowrey, Ernesto F. Moreira, Monika Beck Gooz, Kannan Kunchithapautham, Jie Gong, Emma Vought, Lucian V. Del Priore; Nitrite Modification of Extracellular Matrix Alters CD46 Expression and VEGF Release in Human Retinal Pigment Epithelium. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(8):4231-4238. doi: 10.1167/iovs.15-16438.
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Loss of CD46 has recently been implicated in choroidal neovascularization in mice. Herein we investigated the effect of nitrite modification of the extracellular matrix (ECM) as an in vitro model of “aging” and its effect on CD46 expression and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) release in cocultured human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE).
ARPE-19 cells were plated onto RPE-derived ECM conditions (untreated; nitrite modified; nitrite modified followed by washing with Triton X-100; or nitrite modified followed by washing with Triton X-100 and coated with extracellular matrix ligands). Cells were cultured for 7 days and CD46 expression was analyzed by immunohistochemistry and Western blot. Additionally, CD46 short interfering RNA (siRNA) was transfected into ARPE-19 cells, and VEGF levels were determined by ELISA. Finally, in the same ECM conditions, ARPE-19 cells were challenged with normal human serum and VEGF levels determined by ELISA.
CD46 is expressed on the basolateral surface of ARPE-19 cells on RPE-derived ECM. Nitrite modification of ECM reduced the expression of CD46 on ARPE-19 cells by 0.5-fold (P = 0.003) and increased VEGF release in ARPE-19 cells by 1.7-fold (P < 0.001). CD46 knockdown also increased release of VEGF on the apical and basal sides of ARPE-19 cells in culture by 1.3- (P = 0.012) and 1.2-fold (P = 0.017), respectively.
Nitrite modification of the ECM decreased CD46 expression and increased the release of VEGF from ARPE-19 cells. Changes in CD46 expression may lead to changes in VEGF and play a pathologic role in the development of age-related macular degeneration.
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