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Clyde Guidry, Jeffery L. King, John O. Mason; Fibrocontractive Müller Cell Phenotypes in Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(4):1929-1939. doi: 10.1167/iovs.08-2475.
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purpose. To evaluate Müller cells as a potential source of fibrocontractive cells in proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
methods. Temporal changes in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), vimentin, glutamine synthetase, and alpha smooth muscle actin (αSMA) expression in cultures of freshly isolated porcine Müller cells were evaluated by indirect immunofluorescence and Western blotting. A similar evaluation was performed on freshly isolated Müller cells maintained in high- and low-glucose culture. Cryosections of six diabetic epiretinal tissues were evaluated for the same antigens.
results. Müller cell changes in culture included loss of glutamine synthetase and GFAP, with coincident gains in αSMA immunoreactivity. Vimentin immunoreactivity persisted without obvious change. Similar changes were observed when the cells were maintained in high- or low-glucose culture medium. All six diabetic epiretinal membranes contained positively identified Müller cells with vimentin, GFAP, and glutamine synthetase immunoreactivities. There was a progressive loss of glutamine synthetase and GFAP content and a coincident increase in αSMA content as the cells assumed an elongated, fibroblastlike morphology.
conclusions. Continuous culture in high- versus low-glucose medium does not influence Müller cell phenotype changes. Positively identified Müller cells are present in diabetic epiretinal tissues and appear to undergo the same progression of phenotype changes observed in culture. Cells capable of generating tractional forces associated with proliferative diabetic retinopathy can arise from Müller cells.
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