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Wenlin Zhang, Diego G. Ogando, Edward T. Kim, Moon-Jung Choi, Hongde Li, Jason M. Tenessen, Joseph A. Bonanno; Conditionally Immortal Slc4a11−/− Mouse Corneal Endothelial Cell Line Recapitulates Disrupted Glutaminolysis Seen in Slc4a11−/− Mouse Model. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(9):3723-3731. doi: 10.1167/iovs.17-21781.
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To establish conditionally immortal mouse corneal endothelial cell lines with genetically matched Slc4a11+/+ and Slc4a11−/− mice as a model for investigating pathology and therapies for SLC4A11 associated congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy (CHED) and Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy.
We intercrossed H-2Kb-tsA58 mice (Immortomouse) expressing an IFN-γ dependent and temperature-sensitive mutant of the SV40 large T antigen (tsTAg) with Slc4a11+/+ and Slc4a11−/− C57BL/6 mice. The growth characteristics of the cell lines was assessed by doubling time. Ion transport activities (Na+/H+ exchange, bicarbonate, lactate, and Slc4a11 ammonia transport) were analyzed by intracellular pH measurement. The metabolic status of the cell lines was assessed by analyzing TCA cycle intermediates via gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS).
The immortalized Slc4a11+/+ and Slc4a11−/− mouse corneal endothelial cells (MCECs) remained proliferative through passage 49 and maintained similar active ion transport activity. As expected, proliferation was temperature sensitive and IFN-γ dependent. Slc4a11−/− MCECs exhibited decreased proliferative capacity, reduced NH3:H+ transport, altered expression of glutaminolysis enzymes similar to the Slc4a11−/− mouse, and reduced proportion of TCA cycle intermediates derived from glutamine with compensatory increases in glucose flux compared with Slc4a11+/+ MCECs.
This is the first report of the immortalization of MCECs. Ion transport of the immortalized endothelial cells remains active, except for NH3:H+ transporter activity in Slc4a11−/− MCECs. Furthermore, Slc4a11−/− MCECs recapitulate the glutaminolysis defects observed in Slc4a11−/− mouse corneal endothelium, providing an excellent tool to study the pathogenesis of SLC4A11 mutations associated with corneal endothelial dystrophies and to screen potential therapeutic agents.
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