Small interfering RNA-mediated suppression of Ccl2 in Müller cells attenuates microglial recruitment and photoreceptor death following retinal degeneration

Matt Rutar, Riccardo Natoli, Jan M. Provis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The recruitment and activation of inflammatory cells is thought to exacerbate photoreceptor death in retinal degenerative conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We investigated the role of Müller cell-derived chemokine (C-C motif) ligand (Ccl)2 expression on monocyte/microglia infiltration and photoreceptor death in light-mediated retinal degeneration, using targeted small interfering (si)RNA. Methods: Adult Sprague-Dawley rats were injected intravitreally with 1 μg of either Ccl2 siRNA or scrambled siRNA, and were then exposed to 1000 lux of light for a period of 24 hours. The mice were given an overdose of barbiturate, and the retinas harvested and evaluated for the effects of bright-light exposure. Ccl2 expression was assessed by quantitative PCR, immunohistochemistry, and in situ hybridization. Monocytes/microglia were counted on retinal cryostat sections immunolabeled with the markers ED1 and ionized calcium binding adaptor (IBA)1, and photoreceptor apoptosis was assessed using terminal dUTP nick end labeling. Results: Intravitreal injection of Ccl2 siRNA significantly reduced the expression of Ccl2 following light damage to 29% compared with controls. In retinas injected with Ccl2 siRNA, in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry on retinal cryostat sections showed a substantial decrease in Ccl2 within Müller cells. Cell counts showed significantly fewer ED1-positive and IBA1-positive cells in the retinal vasculature and outer nuclear layer of Ccl2 siRNA-injected retinas, compared with controls. Moreover, there was significantly less photoreceptor apoptosis in Ccl2 siRNA-injected retinas compared with controls. Conclusions: Our data indicate that Ccl2 expression by Müller cells promotes the infiltration of monocytes/microglia, thereby contributing to the neuroinflammatory response and photoreceptor death following retinal injury. Modulation of exaggerated chemokine responses using siRNA may have value in reducing inflammation-mediated cell death in retinal degenerative disease such as AMD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number761
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Neuroinflammation
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes

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