Table_1_Loss of the Extracellular Matrix Molecule Tenascin-C Leads to Absence of Reactive Gliosis and Promotes Anti-inflammatory Cytokine Expression i.pdf (218.57 kB)

Table_1_Loss of the Extracellular Matrix Molecule Tenascin-C Leads to Absence of Reactive Gliosis and Promotes Anti-inflammatory Cytokine Expression in an Autoimmune Glaucoma Mouse Model.pdf

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posted on 09.10.2020, 04:52 by Susanne Wiemann, Jacqueline Reinhard, Sabrina Reinehr, Zülal Cibir, Stephanie C. Joachim, Andreas Faissner

Previous studies demonstrated that retinal damage correlates with a massive remodeling of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules and reactive gliosis. However, the functional significance of the ECM in retinal neurodegeneration is still unknown. In the present study, we used an intraocular pressure (IOP) independent experimental autoimmune glaucoma (EAG) mouse model to examine the role of the ECM glycoprotein tenascin-C (Tnc). Wild type (WT ONA) and Tnc knockout (KO ONA) mice were immunized with an optic nerve antigen (ONA) homogenate and control groups (CO) obtained sodium chloride (WT CO, KO CO). IOP was measured weekly and electroretinographies were recorded at the end of the study. Ten weeks after immunization, we analyzed retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), glial cells, and the expression of different cytokines in retina and optic nerve tissue in all four groups. IOP and retinal function were comparable in all groups. Although RGC loss was less severe in KO ONA, WT as well as KO mice displayed a significant cell loss after immunization. Compared to KO ONA, less βIII-tubulin+ axons, and downregulated oligodendrocyte markers were noted in WT ONA optic nerves. In retina and optic nerve, we found an enhanced GFAP+ staining area of astrocytes in immunized WT. A significantly higher number of retinal Iba1+ microglia was found in WT ONA, while a lower number of Iba1+ cells was observed in KO ONA. Furthermore, an increased expression of the glial markers Gfap, Iba1, Nos2, and Cd68 was detected in retinal and optic nerve tissue of WT ONA, whereas comparable levels were observed in KO ONA. In addition, pro-inflammatory Tnfa expression was upregulated in WT ONA, but downregulated in KO ONA. Vice versa, a significantly increased anti-inflammatory Tgfb1 expression was measured in KO ONA animals. We conclude that Tnc plays an important role in glial and inflammatory response during retinal neurodegeneration. Our results provide evidence that Tnc is involved in glaucomatous damage by regulating retinal glial activation and cytokine release. Thus, this transgenic EAG mouse model for the first time offers the possibility to investigate IOP-independent glaucomatous damage in direct relation to ECM remodeling.

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