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Eric Wang, Yoona Choe, Tat Fong Ng, Andrew W. Taylor; Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells Suppress Phagolysosome Activation in Macrophages. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(2):1266-1273. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.16-21082.
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The eye is an immune-privileged microenvironment that has adapted several mechanisms of immune regulation to prevent inflammation. One of these potential mechanisms is retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) altering phagocytosis in macrophages.
The conditioned media of RPE eyecups from eyes of healthy mice and mice with experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU) were used to treat primary macrophage phagocytizing pHrodo bacterial bioparticles. In addition, the neuropeptides were depleted from the conditioned media of healthy RPE eyecups and used to treat phagocytizing macrophages. The conditioned media from healthy and EAU RPE eyecups were assayed for IL-6, and IL-6 was added to the healthy conditioned media, and neutralized in the EAU conditioned media. The macrophages were treated with the conditioned media and assayed for fluorescence. The macrophages were imaged, and the fluorescence intensity, relative to active phagolysosomes, was measured. Also, the macrophages were assayed using fluorescent viability dye staining.
The conditioned media from healthy, but not from EAU RPE eyecups suppressed phagolysosome activation. Depletion of the neuropeptides alpha-melanocyte–stimulating hormone and neuropeptide Y from the healthy RPE eyecup conditioned media resulted in macrophage death. In the EAU RPE eyecup conditioned media was 0.96 ± 0.18 ng/mL of IL-6, and when neutralized the conditioned media suppressed phagolysosome activation.
The healthy RPE through soluble molecules, including alpha-melanocyte–stimulating hormone and neuropeptide Y, suppresses the activation of the phagolysosome in macrophages. In EAU, the IL-6 produced by the RPE promotes the activation of phagolysosomes in macrophages. These results demonstrate that under healthy conditions, RPE promotes an altered pathway of phagocytized material in macrophages with implications on antigen processing and clearance.
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