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Ahmed M. Abu El-Asrar, Sofie Struyf, Ghulam Mohammad, Mieke Gouwy, Pieter Rytinx, Mohammad Mairaj Siddiquei, Cristina Hernández, Kaiser Alam, Ahmed Mousa, Gert De Hertogh, Ghislain Opdenakker, Rafael Simó; Osteoprotegerin Is a New Regulator of Inflammation and Angiogenesis in Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(7):3189-3201. https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.16-20993.
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Osteoprotegerin (OPG) is a novel regulator of endothelial cell function, angiogenesis, and vasculogenesis. We correlated expression levels of OPG with those of the angiogenic and inflammatory factors vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1/CCL2) in proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). We also examined expression of OPG in retinas from diabetic rats and diabetic patients and measured production of OPG by human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (HRMEC) and investigated its angiogenic activity.
Vitreous samples from 47 PDR and 28 nondiabetic patients, epiretinal membranes from 14 patients with PDR, human retinas (10 from diabetic patients and 10 from nondiabetic subjects), and rat retinas and HRMEC were studied by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, Western blot analysis, and RT-PCR. In vitro and in vivo angiogenesis assays were performed.
We showed a significant increase in the expression of OPG, VEGF, and MCP-1/CCL2 in a comparison between vitreous samples from PDR patients and those from nondiabetic controls. Significant positive correlations were found between levels of OPG and levels of VEGF and MCP-1/CCL2. In epiretinal membranes, OPG was expressed in vascular endothelial cells and stromal cells. Significant increases of OPG mRNA and protein were detected in the retinas from diabetic patients. The proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β, but not VEGF, MCP-1/CCL2 or thrombin, induced upregulation of OPG in HRMEC. Osteoprotegerin induced ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylation in HRMEC and stimulated their migration. Osteoprotegerin potentiated the angiogenic effect of VEGF in the in vivo protein gelatin plug assay.
These results suggest that OPG is involved in PDR angiogenesis.
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