HTRA1 synergizes with oxidized phospholipids in promoting inflammation and macrophage infiltration essential for ocular VEGF expression.
Authors of this article are:
Lu Z, Lin V, May A, Che B, Xiao X, Shaw DH, Su F, Wang Z, Du H, Shaw PX.
A summary of the article is shown below:
Understanding oxidative stress and HTRA1 locus in abnormal angiogenesis resulting in wet AMD pathology is an important step in developing a novel therapeutic approach. Using subretinal injection of oxLDL into C57BL/6 mice, we observed a lesion resembling the features of choroidal neovascularization (CNV), including macrophage infiltration, increased VEGF expression, and neovascularization. However, incubating ARPE-19 cells with oxLDL-a carrier of oxidized phospholipids-resulted in increased expression of inflammatory cytokines and chemoattractant proteins that recruited monocytes, but no substantial increase in expression of VEGF. Furthermore, incubation of ARPE-19 with oxLDL induced higher expression of HTRA1, which we showed to synergize with oxLDL in elevating the expression of inflammatory cytokines and chemoattractant factors. To investigate the role of macrophage infiltration on these expression changes, we treated cultured J774 macrophages with oxLDL and applied the conditioned medium onto ARPE-19 cells. This treatment was found to greatly enhance the expression of VEGF in ARPE-19, indicating the necessity of macrophage secretory products to induce increased expression of VEGF in retinal pigment epithelium. Gene expression analysis revealed that oxLDL induced the expression of Wnt3A in macrophages, a key activator of canonical Wnt signaling pathways. In addition, western blot analysis showed that the macrophage conditioned media further enhanced the reduction of phosphorylated β-catenin induced by oxLDL. Lastly, we investigated HTRA1 as a potential target for AMD therapeutics. We demonstrated the ability of anti-HTRA1 antibody in vitro to neutralize the protease activity of HTRA1 and reduce the inflammatory and angiogenic response to oxidative stress. Finally, we validated the neutralizing effect of anti-HTRA1 antibody in vivo by evaluating lesion size and protein expression in a laser-photocoagulation murine model of CNV. We found that the combination of oxLDL and HTRA1 enhanced CNV size, which was reversed by the addition of anti-HTRA1 antibody. This study not only provides preliminary evidence that HTRA1 may be a viable target for AMD therapeutics but also elucidates the biochemical mechanisms by which this therapeutic effect may be mediated.
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