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Zachary K. Goldsmith, William Coppess, Andrew S. Irvine, Kelley Yuan, Samuel R. Barsh, Madison K. Ritter, Matthew W. McEwen, Jacqueline Flores-Otero, Aileen Garcia-Vargas, Magaly Martinez-Ferrer, Rachel C. Brennan, Vanessa M. Morales-Tirado, Matthew W. Wilson; Targeting the Platelet-Derived Growth Factor-beta Stimulatory Circuitry to Control Retinoblastoma Seeds. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(11):4486-4495. doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-24359.
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Vitreous seeding remains the primary reason for treatment failure in eyes with retinoblastoma (Rb). Systemic and intra-arterial chemotherapy, each with its own inherent set of complications, have improved salvage rates for eyes with advanced disease, but the location and biology of vitreous seeds present a fundamental challenge in developing treatments with minimal toxicity and risk. The aim of this study was to target the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)– PDGF-receptor β (PDGFRβ) signaling pathway and investigate its role in the growth of Rb seeds, apoptotic activity, and invasive potential.
We performed ex vivo analyses on vitreous samples from Rb patients that underwent enucleation and from patient-derived xenografts. These samples were evaluated by quantitative PCR, immunohistochemistry, and ELISA. The effects of disruption of the PDGF-PDGFRβ signaling pathway, both by pharmacologic and genomic knockdown approaches, were evaluated in vitro by cell proliferation and apoptotic assays, quantitative PCR analyses, Western blotting, flow cytometry, and imaging flow cytometry. A three-dimensional cell culture system was generated for in-depth study of Rb seeds.
Our results demonstrated that PDGFRβ signaling is active in the vitreous of Rb patients and patient-derived xenografts, sustaining growth and survival in an AKT-, MDM2-, and NF-κB-dependent manner. The novel three-dimensional cell culture system mimics Rb seeds, as the in vitro generated spheroids have similar morphologic features to Rb seeds and mimicked their natural physiology.
Targeting the PDGFRβ pathway in vitro reduces Rb cell growth, survival, and invasiveness and could augment current therapies. This represents a novel signaling pathway for potential targeted therapy to further improve ocular survival in advanced Rb.
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