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BD Sippy, RK Shuler, SJ Lee, T Couse, JN Wilcox, JH Boatright, JM Nickerson, HE Grossniklaus; ABCA1 Expression in Human RPE Cells and Age-Related Macular Degeneration . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):2612.
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Purpose: To demonstrate expression of ABCA1 in human RPE cells and to evaluate expression in age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). Methods: Primary human RPE cultures were obtained from donor tissue. Post-mortem eyes with and without histological evidence of ARMD were fixed, embedded in paraffin and sectioned. Real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assessed the presence of ABCA1 mRNA in total RNA isolates from RPE cells, and agarose gel electrophoresis confirmed RT-PCR product size. Tissue sections and cell culture slides were incubated with a radio-labeled probe specific for human ABCA1 mRNA using standard in situ techniques. Results: ABCA1 expression in human RPE cells was demonstrated by both RT-PCR and in situ hybridization. ABCA1 mRNA was evident in human retina, including the RPE monolayer, and was present in cells associated with ARMD lesions. Conclusion: We hypothesize that aberrant lipid metabolism in RPE cells may contribute to the pathogenesis of ARMD. Expression of ABCA1, an important gene in lipid metabolism, was evident in cultured human RPE cells and present in human retinal tissue with ARMD.
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