Publications by authors named "Hideto Osada"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

ADIPOR1 deficiency-induced suppression of retinal ELOVL2 and docosahexaenoic acid levels during photoreceptor degeneration and visual loss.

Cell Death Dis 2021 May 7;12(5):458. Epub 2021 May 7.

Laboratory of Retinal Cell Biology, Tokyo, Japan.

Lipid metabolism-related gene mutations can cause retinitis pigmentosa, a currently untreatable blinding disease resulting from progressive neurodegeneration of the retina. Here, we demonstrated the influence of adiponectin receptor 1 (ADIPOR1) deficiency in retinal neurodegeneration using Adipor1 knockout (KO) mice. Adipor1 mRNA was observed to be expressed in photoreceptors, predominately within the photoreceptor inner segment (PIS), and increased after birth during the development of the photoreceptor outer segments (POSs) where photons are received by the visual pigment, rhodopsin. At 3 weeks of age, visual function impairment, specifically photoreceptor dysfunction, as recorded by electroretinography (ERG), was evident in homozygous, but not heterozygous, Adipor1 KO mice. However, although photoreceptor loss was evident at 3 weeks of age and progressed until 10 weeks, the level of visual dysfunction was already substantial by 3 weeks, after which it was retained until 10 weeks of age. The rhodopsin mRNA levels had already decreased at 3 weeks, suggesting that reduced rhodopsin may have contributed to early visual loss. Moreover, inflammation and oxidative stress were induced in homozygous KO retinas. Prior to observation of photoreceptor loss via optical microscopy, electron microscopy revealed that POSs were present; however, they were misaligned and their lipid composition, including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is critical in forming POSs, was impaired in the retina. Importantly, the expression of Elovl2, an elongase of very long chain fatty acids expressed in the PIS, was significantly reduced, and lipogenic genes, which are induced under conditions of reduced endogenous DHA synthesis, were increased in homozygous KO mice. The causal relationship between ADIPOR1 deficiency and Elovl2 repression, together with upregulation of lipogenic genes, was confirmed in vitro. Therefore, ADIPOR1 in the retina appears to be indispensable for ELOVL2 induction, which is likely required to supply sufficient DHA for appropriate photoreceptor function and survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-021-03741-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8105316PMC
May 2021

Taurine rescues mitochondria-related metabolic impairments in the patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells and epithelial-mesenchymal transition in the retinal pigment epithelium.

Redox Biol 2021 May 28;41:101921. Epub 2021 Feb 28.

Laboratory of Retinal Cell Biology, Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjukuku, Tokyo, 160-8582, Japan; Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjukuku, Tokyo, 160-8582, Japan; Department of Ophthalmology, St. Luke's International Hospital, 9-1 Akashi-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-8560, Japan; St. Luke's International University, 9-1 Akashi-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-8560, Japan. Electronic address:

Mitochondria participate in various metabolic pathways, and their dysregulation results in multiple disorders, including aging-related diseases. However, the metabolic changes and mechanisms of mitochondrial disorders are not fully understood. Here, we found that induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from a patient with mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) showed attenuated proliferation and survival when glycolysis was inhibited. These deficits were rescued by taurine administration. Metabolomic analyses showed that the ratio of the reduced (GSH) to oxidized glutathione (GSSG) was decreased; whereas the levels of cysteine, a substrate of GSH, and oxidative stress markers were upregulated in MELAS iPSCs. Taurine normalized these changes, suggesting that MELAS iPSCs were affected by the oxidative stress and taurine reduced its influence. We also analyzed the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) differentiated from MELAS iPSCs by using a three-dimensional culture system and found that it showed epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT), which was suppressed by taurine. Therefore, mitochondrial dysfunction caused metabolic changes, accumulation of oxidative stress that depleted GSH, and EMT in the RPE that could be involved in retinal pathogenesis. Because all these phenomena were sensitive to taurine treatment, we conclude that administration of taurine may be a potential new therapeutic approach for mitochondria-related retinal diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2021.101921DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7944050PMC
May 2021

Renin-angiotensin system impairs macrophage lipid metabolism to promote age-related macular degeneration in mouse models.

Commun Biol 2020 12 9;3(1):767. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Laboratory of Retinal Cell Biology, Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjukuku, Tokyo, 160-8582, Japan.

Metabolic syndrome, a condition involving obesity and hypertension, increases the risk of aging-associated diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Here, we demonstrated that high-fat diet (HFD)-fed mice accumulated oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) in macrophages through the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). The ox-LDL-loaded macrophages were responsible for visual impairment in HFD mice along with a disorder of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), which is required for photoreceptor outer segment renewal. RAS repressed ELAVL1, which reduced PPARγ, impeding ABCA1 induction to levels that are sufficient to excrete overloaded cholesterol within the macrophages. The ox-LDL-loaded macrophages expressed inflammatory cytokines and attacked the RPE. An antihypertensive drug, angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) blocker, resolved the decompensation of lipid metabolism in the macrophages and reversed the RPE condition and visual function in HFD mice. AT1R signaling could be a future therapeutic target for macrophage-associated aging diseases, such as AMD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-01483-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7725839PMC
December 2020

Neuroprotective and vision-protective effect of preserving ATP levels by AMPK activator.

FASEB J 2020 04 24;34(4):5016-5026. Epub 2020 Feb 24.

Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

Progression of blinding diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, is accelerated by light exposure. However, no particular intervention is applied to the photostress. Here, we report neuroprotective effects of the adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activator, 5-Aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR), on light-induced visual function impairment, photoreceptor disorders and death in mice. Increase in retinal ATP levels in response to photostress was transient, because oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and cytochrome c oxidase (CcO) activity were reduced under photostress. However, AICAR treatment preserved OCR, CcO activity, and high levels of retinal ATP after light exposure. AMPK knockdown in the photoreceptor-derived cell line revealed that AMPK targeted CcO activity. Further, our data indicated that photostress reduced mitochondrial respiratory function and ATP levels, while AICAR treatment promoted neuronal survival and retained visual function, stabilizing ATP levels through preserved CcO activity. The current study has provided proof of concept for providing cells with sufficient energy to promote cell survival in the presence of cellular stress. This is in contrast to the previous reports which primarily investigated therapeutic approaches to suppress stress signals. Hence, stabilization of the ATP supply may serve as a novel therapeutic approach to support tissue survival under stress and prevent neurodegeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.201902387RRDOI Listing
April 2020

Dietary Spirulina Supplementation Protects Visual Function From Photostress by Suppressing Retinal Neurodegeneration in Mice.

Transl Vis Sci Technol 2019 Nov 20;8(6):20. Epub 2019 Nov 20.

Laboratory of Retinal Cell Biology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

Purpose: We investigated whether daily consumption of Spirulina, an antioxidant generating cyanobacterial nutritional supplement, would suppress photostress-induced retinal damage and prevent vision loss in mice.

Methods: Six-week-old male BALB/cAJcl mice were allowed constant access to either a standard or Spirulina-supplemented diet (20% Spirulina) that included the antioxidants, β-carotene and zeaxanthin, and proteins for 4 weeks. Following dark adaptation, mice were exposed to 3000-lux white light for 1 hour and returned to their cages. Visual function was analyzed by electroretinogram, and retinal histology by hematoxylin and eosin staining, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated, deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay, and immunohistochemistry. Retinal expression of proteins, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and mRNAs were measured using immunoblot analysis, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein-diacetate, or ROS Brite 700 Dyes, and real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, respectively.

Results: Light-induced visual function impairment was suppressed by constant Spirulina intake. Thinning of the photoreceptor layer and outer segments, photoreceptor cell death, decreased rhodopsin protein, and induction of glial fibrillary acidic protein were ameliorated in the Spirulina-intake group. Increased retinal ROS levels after light exposure were reduced by Spirulina supplementation. Light-induced superoxide dismutase 2 and heme oxygenase-1 mRNAs in the retina, and Nrf2 activation in the photoreceptor cells, were preserved with Spirulina supplementation, despite reduced ROS levels, suggesting two pathways for suppressing ROS, scavenging and induction of endogenous antioxidative enzymes. Light-induced MCP-1 retinal mRNA and proteins were also suppressed by Spirulina.

Conclusions: Spirulina ingestion protected retinal photoreceptors from photostress in the retina.

Translational Relevance: Spirulina has potential as a nutrient supplement to prevent vision loss related to oxidative damage in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1167/tvst.8.6.20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6871545PMC
November 2019

Aquaporin 4 Suppresses Neural Hyperactivity and Synaptic Fatigue and Fine-Tunes Neurotransmission to Regulate Visual Function in the Mouse Retina.

Mol Neurobiol 2019 Dec 12;56(12):8124-8135. Epub 2019 Jun 12.

Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjukuku, Tokyo, 160-8582, Japan.

The bidirectional water channel aquaporin 4 (AQP4) is abundantly expressed in the neural tissue. The advantages and disadvantages of AQP4 neural tissue deficiency under pathological conditions, such as inflammation, and relationship with neural diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, have been previously reported. However, the physiological functions of AQP4 are not fully understood. Here, we evaluated the role of AQP4 in the mouse retina using Aqp4 knockout (KO) mice. Aqp4 was expressed in Müller glial cells surrounding the synaptic area between photoreceptors and bipolar cells. Both scotopic and photopic electroretinograms showed hyperactive visual responses in KO mice, gradually progressing with age. Moreover, the amplitude reduction after frequent stimuli and synaptic fatigue was more severe in KO mice. Glutamine synthetase, glutamate aspartate transporter, synaptophysin, and the inward potassium channel Kir2.1, but not Kir4.1, were downregulated in KO retinas. KIR2.1 colocalized with AQP4 in Müller glial cells at the synaptic area, and its expression was affected by Aqp4 levels in primary Müller glial cell cultures. Intraocular injection of potassium in wild-type mice led to visual function hyperactivity, as observed in Aqp4 KO mice. Mitochondria molecules, such as Pgc1α and CoxIV, were downregulated, while apoptotic markers were upregulated in KO retinas. AQP4 may fine-tune synaptic activity, most likely by regulating potassium metabolism, at least in part, via collaborating with KIR2.1, and possibly indirectly regulating glutamate kinetics, to inhibit neural hyperactivity and synaptic fatigue which finally affect mitochondria and cause neurodegeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12035-019-01661-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6834759PMC
December 2019

Neuroprotective role of retinal SIRT3 against acute photo-stress.

NPJ Aging Mech Dis 2017 4;3:19. Epub 2017 Dec 4.

Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-8582 Japan.

SIRT3 is a key regulator of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species as well as mitochondrial function. The retina is one of the highest energy-demanding tissues, in which the regulation of reactive oxygen species is critical to prevent retinal neurodegeneration. Although previous reports have demonstrated that SIRT3 is highly expressed in the retina and important in neuroprotection, function of SIRT3 in regulating reactive oxygen species in the retina is largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the role of retinal SIRT3 in a light-induced retinal degeneration model using SIRT3 knockout mice. We demonstrate that SIRT3 deficiency causes acute reactive oxygen species accumulation and endoplasmic reticulum stress in the retina after the light exposure, which leads to increased photoreceptor death, retinal thinning, and decreased retinal function. Using a photoreceptor-derived cell line, we revealed that reactive oxygen species were the upstream initiators of endoplasmic reticulum stress. Under SIRT3 knockdown condition, we demonstrated that decreased superoxide dismutase 2 activity led to elevated intracellular reactive oxygen species. These studies have helped to elucidate the critical role of SIRT3 in photoreceptor neuronal survival, and suggest that SIRT3 might be a therapeutic target for oxidative stress-induced retinal disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41514-017-0017-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5712523PMC
December 2017

Neuroprotective effect of bilberry extract in a murine model of photo-stressed retina.

PLoS One 2017 1;12(6):e0178627. Epub 2017 Jun 1.

Laboratory of Retinal Cell Biology, Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

Excessive exposure to light promotes degenerative and blinding retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. However, the underlying mechanisms of photo-induced retinal degeneration are not fully understood, and a generalizable preventive intervention has not been proposed. Bilberry extract is an antioxidant-rich supplement that ameliorates ocular symptoms. However, its effects on photo-stressed retinas have not been clarified. In this study, we examined the neuroprotective effects of bilberry extract against photo-stress in murine retinas. Light-induced visual function impairment recorded by scotopic and phototopic electroretinograms showing respective rod and cone photoreceptor function was attenuated by oral administration of bilberry extract through a stomach tube in Balb/c mice (750 mg/kg body weight). Bilberry extract also suppressed photo-induced apoptosis in the photoreceptor cell layer and shortening of the outer segments of rod and cone photoreceptors. Levels of photo-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS), oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress markers, as measured by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, were reduced by bilberry extract treatment. Reduction of ROS by N-acetyl-L-cysteine, a well-known antioxidant also suppressed ER stress. Immunohistochemical analysis of activating transcription factor 4 expression showed the presence of ER stress in the retina, and at least in part, in Müller glial cells. The photo-induced disruption of tight junctions in the retinal pigment epithelium was also attenuated by bilberry extract, repressing an oxidative stress marker, although ER stress markers were not repressed. Our results suggest that bilberry extract attenuates photo-induced apoptosis and visual dysfunction most likely, and at least in part, through ROS reduction, and subsequent ER stress attenuation in the retina. This study can help understand the mechanisms of photo-stress and contribute to developing a new, potentially useful therapeutic approach using bilberry extract for preventing retinal photo-damage.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0178627PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5453571PMC
September 2017

Lutein acts via multiple antioxidant pathways in the photo-stressed retina.

Sci Rep 2016 07 22;6:30226. Epub 2016 Jul 22.

Laboratory of Retinal Cell Biology, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan.

Lutein slows the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in ageing societies. However, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we evaluated lutein's effects on light-induced AMD-related pathological events. Balb/c mice exposed to light (2000 lux, 3 h) showed tight junction disruption in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) at 12 h, as detected by zona occludens-1 immunostaining. Substantial disruption remained 48 h after light exposure in the vehicle-treated group; however, this was ameliorated in the mice treated with intraperitoneal lutein at 12 h, suggesting that lutein promoted tight junction repair. In the photo-stressed RPE and the neighbouring choroid tissue, lutein suppressed reactive oxygen species and increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity at 24 h, and produced sustained increases in sod1 and sod2 mRNA levels at 48 h. SOD activity was induced by lutein in an RPE cell line, ARPE19. We also found that lutein suppressed upregulation of macrophage-related markers, f4/80 and mcp-1, in the RPE-choroid tissue at 18 h. In ARPE19, lutein reduced mcp-1 mRNA levels. These findings indicated that lutein promoted tight junction repair and suppressed inflammation in photo-stressed mice, reducing local oxidative stress by direct scavenging and most likely by induction of endogenous antioxidant enzymes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep30226DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4957151PMC
July 2016

Angiopoietin-like Protein 2 Is a Multistep Regulator of Inflammatory Neovascularization in a Murine Model of Age-related Macular Degeneration.

J Biol Chem 2016 Apr 2;291(14):7373-85. Epub 2016 Feb 2.

From the Laboratory of Retinal Cell Biology and the Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan,

Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) is a pathogenic process of age-related macular degeneration, a vision-threatening disease. The retinal pigment epithelium and macrophages both influence CNV development. However, the underlying mechanisms remain obscure. Here, we focus on Angptl2 (angiopoietin-like protein 2), a cytokine involved in age-related systemic diseases. Angptl2 was originally identified as an adipocytokine and is also expressed in the eye. Using a laser-induced CNV model, we found thatAngptl2KO mice exhibited suppressed CNV development with reduced macrophage recruitment and inflammatory mediator induction. The mediators monocyte chemotactic protein-1, interleukin-1β (Il-1β),Il-6, matrix metalloprotease-9 (Mmp-9), and transforming growth factor-β1 (Tgf-β1) that were up-regulated during CNV development were all suppressed in the retinal pigment epithelium-choroid of CNV models generated in theAngptl2KO mice. Bone marrow transplantation using wild-type and KO mice suggested that both bone marrow-derived and host-derived Angptl2 were responsible for macrophage recruitment and CNV development. Peritoneal macrophages derived fromAngptl2KO mice expressed lower levels of the inflammatory mediators. In the wild-type peritoneal macrophages and RAW264.7 cells, Angptl2 induced the mediators via integrins α4 and β2, followed by the downstream activation of NF-κB and ERK. The activation of NF-κB and ERK by Angptl2 also promoted macrophage migration. Therefore, Angptl2 from focal tissue might trigger macrophage recruitment, and that from recruited macrophages might promote expression of inflammatory mediators including Angptl2 in an autocrine and/or paracrine fashion to facilitate CNV development. Angptl2 might therefore represent a multistep regulator of CNV pathogenesis and serve as a new therapeutic target for age-related macular degeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M115.710186DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4817169PMC
April 2016

The Neuroprotective Effect of Rapamycin as a Modulator of the mTOR-NF-κB Axis during Retinal Inflammation.

PLoS One 2016 15;11(1):e0146517. Epub 2016 Jan 15.

Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-8582, Japan.

Purpose: The determination of the molecular mechanism underlying retinal pathogenesis and visual dysfunction during innate inflammation, and the treatment effect of rapamycin thereon.

Methods: The endotoxin-induced uveitis and retinitis mouse model was established by injecting lipopolysaccharide. The mice were subsequently treated with rapamycin, a mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor. The rhodopsin mRNA and protein expression level in the retina and the photoreceptor outer segment (OS) length in immunohistochemical stainings were measured, and visual function was recorded by electroretinography. Inflammatory cytokines, their related molecules, mTOR, and LC3 levels were measured by real-time PCR and/or immunoblotting. Leukocyte adhesion during inflammation was analyzed using concanavalin A lectin.

Results: The post-transcriptional reduction in the visual pigment of rod photoreceptor cells, rhodopsin, OS shortening, and rod photoreceptor cell dysfunction during inflammation were suppressed by rapamycin. Activation of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) and induction of inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and the activation of the downstream signaling protein, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), which reduces rhodopsin in the retina during inflammation, were attenuated by rapamycin. Increased leukocyte adhesion was also attenuated by rapamycin. Interestingly, although mTOR activation was observed after NF-κB activation, mTOR inhibition suppressed NF-κB activation at the early phase, indicating that the basal level of activated mTOR was sufficient to activate NF-κB in the retina. In addition, the inhibition of NF-κB suppressed mTOR activation, suggesting a positive feedback loop of mTOR and NF-κB during inflammation. The ratio of LC3II to LC3I, which reflects autophagy induction, was not changed by inflammation but was increased by rapamycin.

Conclusions: Our results propose the potential use of rapamycin as a neuroprotective therapy to suppress local activated mTOR levels, related inflammatory molecules, and the subsequent visual dysfunction during retinal inflammation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0146517PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4714903PMC
July 2016

Blue light-induced inflammatory marker expression in the retinal pigment epithelium-choroid of mice and the protective effect of a yellow intraocular lens material in vivo.

Exp Eye Res 2015 Mar 7;132:48-51. Epub 2015 Jan 7.

Laboratory of Retinal Cell Biology, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan; Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan. Electronic address:

Oxidative stress in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a well-accepted pathogenic change in vision-threatening diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. One source of oxidative stress is excessive light exposure, which causes excessive activation of the visual cycle. Because short wavelength light (blue light) has more energy, it is reported to be more harmful to photoreceptor cells than the other wavelengths of light. However, the biological effect of blue light in the RPE of living animals and the protective effect of a yellow intraocular lens (IOL) material that blocks blue light is still obscure. Therefore, we compared the pathogenic effect in the RPE-choroid complexes of mice exposed to light in a box made of a clear or a yellow IOL material. We measured the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) using 2', 7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate, the mRNA levels of inflammatory cytokines and a macrophage marker by real-time polymerase chain reaction, and the protein level of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) by ELISA. The ROS level after light exposure was suppressed in the RPE-choroids of light-exposed mice in the yellow IOL material box. In parallel, all the inflammatory cytokines that we measured and a macrophage marker were also suppressed in the RPE-choroids of light-exposed mice in the yellow IOL material box. Therefore, a yellow IOL material suppressed, and thus blue light exacerbated, the increase in the ROS level and inflammatory cytokine expression as well as macrophage recruitment in the RPE-choroid in vivo after light exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exer.2015.01.003DOI Listing
March 2015

Haemodynamically dependent valvulogenesis of zebrafish heart is mediated by flow-dependent expression of miR-21.

Nat Commun 2013 ;4:1978

Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University, 2-1-1 Katahira, Aoba, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8577, Japan.

Heartbeat is required for normal development of the heart, and perturbation of intracardiac flow leads to morphological defects resembling congenital heart diseases. These observations implicate intracardiac haemodynamics in cardiogenesis, but the signalling cascades connecting physical forces, gene expression and morphogenesis are largely unknown. Here we use a zebrafish model to show that the microRNA, miR-21, is crucial for regulation of heart valve formation. Expression of miR-21 is rapidly switched on and off by blood flow. Vasoconstriction and increasing shear stress induce ectopic expression of miR-21 in the head vasculature and heart. Flow-dependent expression of mir-21 governs valvulogenesis by regulating the expression of the same targets as mouse/human miR-21 (sprouty, pdcd4, ptenb) and induces cell proliferation in the valve-forming endocardium at constrictions in the heart tube where shear stress is highest. We conclude that miR-21 is a central component of a flow-controlled mechanotransduction system in a physicogenetic regulatory loop.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms2978DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3709480PMC
December 2013