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Ti Zhou, Yang Hu, Ying Chen, Kevin K. Zhou, Bin Zhang, Guoquan Gao, Jian-xing Ma; The Pathogenic Role of the Canonical Wnt Pathway in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(9):4371-4379. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.09-4278.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The authors' previous studies showed that the Wnt signaling pathway is activated in the retinas and retinal pigment epithelia of animal models of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR). The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of the canonical Wnt pathway in pathogenesis of these diseases.
The Wnt pathway was activated using the Wnt3a-conditioned medium and adenovirus expressing a constitutively active mutant of β-catenin (Ad-S37A) in ARPE19, a cell line derived from human RPE. Ad-S37A was injected into the vitreous of normal rats to activate the Wnt pathway in the retina. Accumulation of β-catenin was determined by Western blot analysis, and its nuclear translocation was revealed by immunocytochemistry. Inflammatory factors were quantified by Western blot analysis and ELISA. Oxidative stress was determined by measuring intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and nitrotyrosine levels.
The Wnt3a-conditioned medium and Ad-S37A both increased β-catenin levels and its nuclear translocation in ARPE19 cells, suggesting activation of the canonical Wnt pathway. Activation of the Wnt pathway significantly upregulated the expression of VEGF, NF-κB, and TNF-α. Further, Ad-S37A induced ROS generation in a dose-dependent manner. Wnt3a also induced a twofold increase of ROS generation. Intravitreal injection of Ad-S37A upregulated the expression of VEGF, ICAM-1, NF-κB, and TNF-α and increased protein nitrotyrosine levels in the retinas of normal rats.
Activation of the canonical Wnt pathway is sufficient to induce retinal inflammation and oxidative stress and plays a pathogenic role in AMD and DR.
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