Interruption of Wnt signaling in müller cells ameliorates ischemia-induced retinal neovascularization

Kelu Kevin Zhou, Siribhinya Benyajati, Yun Le, Rui Cheng, Wenbo Zhang, Jian Xing Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Retinal Müller cells are major producers of inflammatory and angiogenic cytokines which contribute to diabetic retinopathy (DR). Over-activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway has been shown to play an important pathogenic role in DR. However, the roles of Müller cell-derived Wnt/β-catenin signaling in retinal neovascularization (NV) and DR remain undefined. In the present study, mice with conditional β-catenin knockout (KO) in Müller cells were generated and subjected to oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) and streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes. Wnt signaling was evaluated by measuring levels of β-catenin and expression of its target genes using immunoblotting. Retinal vascular permeability was measured using Evans blue as a tracer. Retinal NV was visualized by angiography and quantified by counting pre-retinal nuclei. Retinal pericyte loss was evaluated using retinal trypsin digestion. Electroretinography was performed to examine visual function. No abnormalities were detected in the β-catenin KO mice under normal conditions. In OIR, retinal levels of β-catenin and VEGF were significantly lower in the β-catenin KO mice than in littermate controls. The KO mice also had decreased retinal NV and vascular leakage in the OIR model. In the STZ-induced diabetic model, disruption of β-catenin in Müller cells attenuated over-expression of inflammatory cytokines and ameliorated pericyte dropout in the retina. These findings suggest that Wnt signaling activation in Mü ller cells contributes to retinal NV, vascular leakage and inflammation and represents a potential therapeutic target for DR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere108454
JournalPLoS One
Volume9
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

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Retinal Neovascularization
Catenins
diabetic retinopathy
ischemia
angiogenesis
Ischemia
retinal diseases
blood vessels
Diabetic Retinopathy
Retinal Vessels
streptozotocin
mice
oxygen
Knockout Mice
cells
cytokines
Pericytes
dropouts
Streptozocin
Oxygen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Interruption of Wnt signaling in müller cells ameliorates ischemia-induced retinal neovascularization. / Zhou, Kelu Kevin; Benyajati, Siribhinya; Le, Yun; Cheng, Rui; Zhang, Wenbo; Ma, Jian Xing.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 9, No. 10, e108454, 01.10.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zhou, Kelu Kevin ; Benyajati, Siribhinya ; Le, Yun ; Cheng, Rui ; Zhang, Wenbo ; Ma, Jian Xing. / Interruption of Wnt signaling in müller cells ameliorates ischemia-induced retinal neovascularization. In: PLoS One. 2014 ; Vol. 9, No. 10.
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