June 2020
Volume 61, Issue 7
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2020
Insulin Receptor signaling potentiation by proinsulin preserves photoreceptors and rod synapses in the rd10 mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Alonso Sanchez-Cruz
    Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
    Centro de Investigacion Biologicas (CSIC), Madrid, Spain
  • Alberto Hernández-Pinto
    Centro de Investigacion Biologicas (CSIC), Madrid, Spain
  • Concepción Lillo
    Instituto de Neurociencias de Castilla y Leon, Spain
  • Carolina Isiegas
    Centro de Investigacion Biologicas (CSIC), Madrid, Spain
  • Miguel Marchena
    Centro de Investigacion Biologicas (CSIC), Madrid, Spain
  • Fatima Bosch
    Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain
  • Lizasoain Ignacio
    Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
  • Pedro de la Villa
    Universidad de Alcala de Henares, Spain
  • Enrique J De La Rosa
    Centro de Investigacion Biologicas (CSIC), Madrid, Spain
  • Catalina Hernández-Sánchez
    Centro de Investigacion Biologicas (CSIC), Madrid, Spain
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Alonso Sanchez-Cruz, None; Alberto Hernández-Pinto, None; Concepción Lillo, None; Carolina Isiegas, None; Miguel Marchena, None; Fatima Bosch, None; Lizasoain Ignacio, None; Pedro de la Villa, None; Enrique De La Rosa, None; Catalina Hernández-Sánchez, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  Contrato Predoctoral Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2020, Vol.61, 4049. doi:
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      Alonso Sanchez-Cruz, Alberto Hernández-Pinto, Concepción Lillo, Carolina Isiegas, Miguel Marchena, Fatima Bosch, Lizasoain Ignacio, Pedro de la Villa, Enrique J De La Rosa, Catalina Hernández-Sánchez; Insulin Receptor signaling potentiation by proinsulin preserves photoreceptors and rod synapses in the rd10 mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):4049.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : Retinitis pigmentosa is a group of inherited retinal dystrophies, that courses with death of photoreceptors, leading to blindness. We are focused in developing neuroprotective strategies aimed to extend the visual function. In the present study we characterize the neuroprotective effect of potentiating insulin receptor (IR) signaling by a treatment with proinsulin (Pi), the insulin precursor.

Methods : IR isoforms were determined by RT-PCR. IR and pS6240/244(pS6) distribution were analyzed by immunostaining in cryosections. Analysis of retinal synapses was carried out by immunostaining and electron microscopy. Adeno-associated viral vectors carrying the human Pi cDNA (AAV-hPi) were administrated to rd10 mice at P10-12 by intramuscular injection, and serum, retinal and eye hPi levels were measured by ELISA. Metabolic effects of hPi were analyzed by body weight and the glucose level measurements. Visual function was assessed by electroretinography and optomotor test.

Results : The IRA isoform was predominant in the retina and brain. IR was widely expressed in the retina but highly enriched in horizontal cell (HC) and ganglion cell axons. Concomitant to RP progression, the levels of IR in the HC axons and those of pS6 puncta staining at the HC terminal tips were selectively downregulated in the rd10 retina. Ultrastructural analysis of the rd10 retina at early stages of degeneration revealed decreased proportion of rod triad synapses and increased rate of disconnected rod terminals as well as that of degenerative rod spherules. Single AAV-hPi injection produced sustained serum hPi levels which did not have metabolic consequences and reached the eye and retina. hPi-treatment of rd10 mice restored pS6 levels in HC tips and exerted a neuroprotective effect on photoreceptor survival and rod synaptic connectivity. Moreover, hPi-treated rd10 mice showed extended visual function.

Conclusions : IR expression and signaling is down regulated in rd10 retina. As part the RP degenerative rods undergo a process of synaptic disconnection. hPi treatment restored IR signaling by means of increasing pS6 levels, preserved photoreceptor cells and synaptic connectivity, and extended visual function in the rd10 mouse. All together, these results suggest that proinsulin is a multi-facet neuroprotective factor and a potential therapy for RP treatment.

This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.


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