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      Inhibition of epithelial–mesenchymal transition in retinal pigment epithelial cells by a retinoic acid receptor-α agonist

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          Abstract

          Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells plays a key role in proliferative retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration by contributing to subretinal fibrosis. To investigate the potential role of retinoic acid receptor-α (RAR-α) signaling in this process, we have now examined the effects of the RAR-α agonist Am580 on EMT induced by transforming growth factor-β2 (TGF-β2) in primary mouse RPE cells cultured in a three-dimensional type I collagen gel as well as on subretinal fibrosis in a mouse model. We found that Am580 inhibited TGF-β2-induced collagen gel contraction mediated by RPE cells. It also attenuated the TGF-β2-induced expression of the mesenchymal markers α-smooth muscle actin, fibronectin, and collagen type I; production of pro-matrix metalloproteinase 2 and interleukin-6; expression of the focal adhesion protein paxillin; and phosphorylation of SMAD2 in the cultured RPE cells. Finally, immunofluorescence analysis showed that Am580 suppressed both the TGF-β2-induced translocation of myocardin-related transcription factor-A (MRTF-A) from the cytoplasm to the nucleus of cultured RPE cells as well as subretinal fibrosis triggered by laser-induced photocoagulation in a mouse model. Our observations thus suggest that RAR-α signaling inhibits EMT in RPE cells and might attenuate the development of fibrosis associated with proliferative retinal diseases.

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          Most cited references 55

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          Molecular mechanisms of epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

          The transdifferentiation of epithelial cells into motile mesenchymal cells, a process known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), is integral in development, wound healing and stem cell behaviour, and contributes pathologically to fibrosis and cancer progression. This switch in cell differentiation and behaviour is mediated by key transcription factors, including SNAIL, zinc-finger E-box-binding (ZEB) and basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, the functions of which are finely regulated at the transcriptional, translational and post-translational levels. The reprogramming of gene expression during EMT, as well as non-transcriptional changes, are initiated and controlled by signalling pathways that respond to extracellular cues. Among these, transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) family signalling has a predominant role; however, the convergence of signalling pathways is essential for EMT.
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            Common and unique mechanisms regulate fibrosis in various fibroproliferative diseases.

             Thomas Wynn (2007)
            Fibroproliferative diseases, including the pulmonary fibroses, systemic sclerosis, liver cirrhosis, cardiovascular disease, progressive kidney disease, and macular degeneration, are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality and can affect all tissues and organ systems. Fibrotic tissue remodeling can also influence cancer metastasis and accelerate chronic graft rejection in transplant recipients. Nevertheless, despite its enormous impact on human health, there are currently no approved treatments that directly target the mechanism(s) of fibrosis. The primary goals of this Review series on fibrotic diseases are to discuss some of the major fibroproliferative diseases and to identify the common and unique mechanisms of fibrogenesis that might be exploited in the development of effective antifibrotic therapies.
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              Epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

               Derek Radisky (2005)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                k.kimura@yamaguchi-u.ac.jp
                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2045-2322
                4 June 2021
                4 June 2021
                2021
                : 11
                Affiliations
                GRID grid.268397.1, ISNI 0000 0001 0660 7960, Department of Ophthalmology, , Yamaguchi University Graduate School of Medicine, ; 1-1-1 Minami-Kogushi, Ube City, Yamaguchi 755-8505 Japan
                Article
                90618
                10.1038/s41598-021-90618-4
                8178299
                34088917
                © The Author(s) 2021

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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                eye diseases, medical research

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