Vitreous from idiopathic epiretinal membrane patients induces glial-to-mesenchymal transition in Müller cells

Adwaid Manu Krishna Chandran, Daniela Coltrini, Mirella Belleri, Sara Rezzola, Elena Gambicorti, Davide Romano, Francesco Morescalchi, Stefano Calza, Francesco Semeraro, Marco Presta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Idiopathic epiretinal membranes (ERMs) are fibrocellular membranes containing extracellular matrix proteins and epiretinal cells of retinal and extraretinal origin. iERMs lead to decreased visual acuity and their pathogenesis has not been completely defined. Macroglial Müller cells appear to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of iERM where they may undergo glial-to-mesenchymal transition (GMT), a transdifferentiation process characterized by the downregulation of Müller cell markers, paralleled by the upregulation of pro-fibrotic myofibroblast markers. Previous observations from our laboratory allowed the molecular identification of two major clusters of iERM patients (named iERM-A and iERM-B), iERM-A patients being characterized by less severe clinical features and a more “quiescent” iERM gene expression profile when compared to iERM-B patients. In the present work, Müller MIO-M1 cells were exposed to vitreous samples obtained before membrane peeling from the same cohort of iERM-A and iERM-B patients. The results demonstrate that iERM vitreous induces proliferation, migration, and GMT in MIO-M1 cells, a phenotype consistent with Müller cell behavior during iERM progression. However, even though the vitreous samples obtained from iERM-A patients were able to induce a complete GMT in MIO-M1 cells, iERM-B samples caused only a partial GMT, characterized by the downregulation of Müller cell markers in the absence of upregulation of pro-fibrotic myofibroblast markers. Together, the results indicate that a relationship may exist among the ability of iERM vitreous to modulate GMT in Müller cells, the molecular profile of the corresponding iERMs, and the clinical features of iERM patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number166181
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Volume1867
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Epiretinal membrane
  • Eye disease
  • Gene expression
  • Müller cells
  • Retina
  • Vitreous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology

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