SENS PubMed Publication Search
Sub-Retinal Injection of Human Lipofuscin in the Mouse – A Model of "Dry" Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
Nan Su 1 2, Uwe Hansen 3, Tanja Plagemann 1, Karin Gäher 3, M Dominik Leclaire 1, Jeannette König 4, Annika Höhn 4, Tilman Grune 4, Constantin E Uhlig 5, Nicole Eter 6, Peter Heiduschka 1
Lipofuscin (LF) accumulates during lifetime in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and is thought to play a crucial role in intermediate and late age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In an attemt to simulate aged retina and to study response of retinal microglia and RPE cells to LF, we injected a suspension of LF into the subretinal space of adult mice. LF suspension was obtained from human donor eyes. Subretinal injection of PBS or sham injection served as a control. Eyes were inspected by autofluorescence and optical coherence tomography, by electroretinography and on histological and ultrastructural levels. Levels of cytokine mRNA were determined by quantitative PCR separately in the RPE/choroid complex and in the retina. After injection of LF, microglial cells migrated quickly into the subretinal space to close proximity to RPE cells and phagocytosed LF particles. Retinal function was affected only slightly by LF within the first two weeks. After longer time, RPE cells showed clear signs of melanin loss and degradation. Levels of mRNA of inflammatory cytokines increased sharply after injection of both PBS and LF and were higher in the RPE/choroid complex than in the retina and were slightly higher after LF injection. In conclusion, subretinal injection of LF causes an activation of microglial cells and their migration into subretinal space, enhanced expression of inflammatory cytokines and a gradual degradation of RPE cells. These features are found also in an aging retina, and subretinal injection of LF could be a model for intermediate and late AMD.