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Lijia Cheng, Hong Bu, Jose-Andres C. Portillo, Yan Li, Carlos S. Subauste, Suber S. Huang, Timothy S. Kern, Feng Lin; Modulation of Retinal Müller Cells by Complement Receptor C5aR. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(13):8191-8198. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-12428.
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Müller cells, a major type of glial cell found in the eye, are postulated to play an important role in many retinal diseases, including diabetic retinopathy (DR). Complement is an integral part of innate immunity, and the activation of complement has been associated with retinal diseases. However, the role of complement in the regulation of Müller cell function remains unclear. We were trying to address these issues in this study.
Using primary human Müller cells and a spontaneously immortalized human Müller cell line, we examined the expression of complement receptor C5aR both at mRNA and protein levels. Regulation of C5aR expression on Müller cells by prostaglandin E2 and by hyperglycemia, both of which are integrally involved in DR, were studied. Significance of C5aR on Müller cells was also investigated by examining relevant cytokine productions and their impacts on retinal endothelial cell proliferation/permeability after ligating the receptor using its ligand, C5a.
C5aR is constitutively expressed in human Müller cells. Prostaglandin E2 and hyperglycemia individually and synergistically upregulate C5aR expression in Müller cells. Signaling through C5aR on Müller cells upregulates production of IL-6 and VEGF, which promotes the proliferation of human retinal endothelial cells and increases their permeability.
These results indicate that complement can regulate Müller cells through C5aR, which may contribute to the pathogenesis of retinal diseases, including DR.
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