J Ophthalmol 2015 18;2015:584854. Epub 2015 Oct 18.
Translational Medicine Center, Guangdong Women and Children's Hospital, Guangzhou 511400, China.
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a serious disease of preterm neonates and there are limited systematic studies of the molecular mechanisms underlying ROP. Therefore, here we performed global gene expression profiling in human fetal retinal microvascular endothelial cells (RMECs) under hypoxic conditions in vitro. Aborted fetuses were enrolled and primary RMECs were isolated from eyeballs. Cultivated cells were treated with CoCl2 to induce hypoxia. The dual-color microarray approach was adopted to compare gene expression profiling between treated RMECs and the paired untreated control. The one-class algorithm in significance analysis of microarray (SAM) software was used to screen the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) was conducted to validate the results. Gene Ontology was employed for functional enrichment analysis. There were 326 DEGs between the hypoxia-induced group and untreated group. Of these genes, 198 were upregulated in hypoxic RMECs, while the other 128 hits were downregulated. In particular, genes in the iron ion homeostasis pathway were highly enriched under hypoxic conditions. Our study indicates that dysregulation of genes involved in iron homeostasis mediating oxidative damage may be responsible for the mechanisms underlying ROP. The "oxygen plus iron" hypothesis may improve our understanding of ROP pathogenesis.