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      Phagocytosis of Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells: Evidence of a Diurnal Rhythm, Involvement of the Cytoskeleton and Interference of Antiviral Drugs

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          Retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells provide crucial functions for the maintenance of the retinal environment. We investigated the phagocytotic mechanisms of RPE cells evaluating the question whether particle uptake underlies a diurnal rhythm. Additionally, a possible connection of volume regulation and the phagocytotic function of RPE cells was studied. As antiviral nucleoside analogues influence cell-volume-regulating mechanisms, we tested several antiviral drugs. Cultured primary RPE cells and a permanent cell line (ARPE-19) were tested for uptake of europium-labeled microspheres quantified by time-resolved fluorometry. Cells were also exposed to cyclic illumination or continuous light and dark culture conditions. Inhibitors of cytoskeleton (microtubuli, actin) and osmotic swelling were also tested. Ingested FITC-labeled microparticles were found in phagosomes strongly associated which the cytoskeleton as they could not be easily moved by laser tweezer microscopy. Phagocytosis was observed predominately during dark intervals and was reduced by continuous light exposure. The diurnal rhythm of unsynchronized RPE cultures was abolished by microtubule inhibitors although no inhibition of overall particle uptake by cytoskeletal blockers was observed. Hypoosmotic swelling of RPE also decreased phagocytosis. Acyclovir was found inhibitory in ARPE-19 cells, whereas azidothymidine showed a protracted inhibiting activity on primary RPE cells and ganciclovir was inactive in both cell types. The presence of a diurnal rhythm also in culture indicates genetic determination of light-regulated particle uptake. This mechanism appears to be influenced by the regulation of cell volume and microtubule function. Inhibition of RPE function by antiviral drugs is a novel finding and in accordance with interferences of the tested drugs with cellular chloride channels described earlier. It may give a hint towards possible ocular side effects in the long-term use of nucleoside-analogous substances.

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          Most cited references 24

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          Rod outer segment disk shedding in rat retina: relationship to cyclic lighting.

          When albino rats are reared in cyclic light, a burst of rod outer segment disk shedding occurs in the retina soon after the onset of light. The number of large packets of outer segment disks (phagosomes) in the pigment epithelium at this time is 2.5 to 5 times greater than at any other time of day or night. The subsequent degradation of large phagosomes to smaller structures within pigment epithelial cells proceeds rapidly. The burst of disk shedding follows a circadian rhythm for at least 3 days, since it occurs in continuous darkness at the same time without the onset of light.
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            Thrombospondin cooperates with CD36 and the vitronectin receptor in macrophage recognition of neutrophils undergoing apoptosis.

             C Haslett,  N Hogg,  Y. Ren (1992)
            We have investigated the cell surface recognition mechanisms used by human monocyte-derived macrophages (M phi) in phagocytosis of intact aging human neutrophils (PMNs) undergoing apoptosis. This study shows that the adhesive protein thrombospondin (TSP) was present in the interaction, both associated with the M phi surface and in solution at a mean concentration of 0.59 micrograms/ml. The interaction was inhibited by treatment of M phi (but not aged PMN) with cycloheximide, but could be "rescued" by replenishment with exogenous TSP. Under control conditions, M phi recognition of aged PMNs was specifically potentiated by purified platelet TSP at 5 micrograms/ml, present either in the interaction or if preincubated with either cell type, suggesting that TSP might act as a "molecular bridge" between the two cell types. In support, both aged PMN and M phi were found to adhere to TSP, and phagocytosis of aged PMN was specifically inhibited by (a) excess soluble TSP; (b) antibodies to TSP that also inhibit TSP-mediated adhesion to aged PMN; and (c) down-regulation of M phi receptors for TSP by plating M phi on TSP-coated surfaces. Furthermore, inhibition with mAbs/Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser peptide of the candidate M phi receptors for TSP, CD36, and alpha v beta 3 exerted synergistic effects on both M phi recognition of aged PMN and M phi adhesion to TSP, indicating that "two point" adhesion of TSP to these M phi structures is involved in phagocytosis of aged PMN. Our findings indicate newly defined roles for TSP and CD36 in phagocytic clearance of senescent neutrophils, which may limit inflammatory tissue injury and promote resolution.
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              A quick and simple method for the quantitation of lactate dehydrogenase release in measurements of cellular cytotoxicity and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) activity


                Author and article information

                Ophthalmic Res
                Ophthalmic Research
                S. Karger AG
                May 2006
                29 May 2006
                : 38
                : 3
                : 164-174
                aClinical Department of Ophthalmology, bDepartment of Medical Chemistry and Biochemistry, cDepartment of Medical Physics, dClinical Department of Internal Medicine, eDepartment of Physiology and Balneology and fDepartment of Hygiene and Social Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria
                91476 Ophthalmic Res 2006;38:164–174
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 6, References: 30, Pages: 11
                Original Paper


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