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Julie Mazzocco, Bénédicte Buteau, Laurent Leclère, Catherine P Garcher, Alain M Bron, Lionel Bretillon, Niyazi Acar; Characterization of plasmalogens in retinal glial cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):419.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Plasmalogens (or ether-lipids) constitute a particular class of glycerophospholipids that are characterized by the presence of a vinyl-ether bond at the sn-1 position of the glycerol backbone and by the preferential esterification of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) at the sn-2 position. Although their exact functions remain enigmatic, previous data from our laboratory suggest that plasmalogens play crucial functions during retinal vessel development by affecting astrocyte template formation (Saab et al PLoSONE 2014;9(6):e101076). The aim of this study was to better characterize plasmalogens in the retina and to determine which cells are responsible for plasmalogens production within the populations of retinal glial cells.
Retinal Müller cells and astrocytes were isolated from eyes of Wistar rats aged from 12 to 21 days and cultured in DMEM medium. The presence of dihydroxyacetone-phosphate acyltransferase (DHAP-AT), the key enzyme of plasmalogen biosynthesis, was evaluated by western-blotting in each cell type. After lipid extraction, the cellular content of plasmalogens was determined by gas chromatography coupled to flame ionization detection (GC-FID). Furthermore, DHAP-AT immunostainings were performed on cultured cells as well as on retinal sections from eyes of C57BL/6 mice.
Immunohistochemistry revealed that DHAP-AT protein was present in the inner and the outer plexiform layers, as well as in photoreceptor inner segments. Immunostainings and western-blot analyses on primary cultures showed that DHAP-AT was highly expressed in Müller cells. Lipid analyses revealed that the levels of plasmalogens were higher in Müller cells than in astrocytes and the whole retina.
These results highlight the differences between astrocytes and Müller cells in plasmalogen levels and key-enzyme in plasmalogen synthesis. Plasmalogens-dependent signalling pathways in the retina may therefore be specifically initiated in Müller cells. Further studies are needed to characterize the cell pathways activated by plasmalogens catabolism in Müller and neighbouring cells.
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