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Genova, Italy

Puddu A.,Viale Benedetto XV n. | Sanguineti R.,Viale Benedetto XV n. | Durante A.,Viale Benedetto XV n. | Nicolo M.,Ophthalmology and Genetics | Viviani G.L.,Viale Benedetto XV n.
Molecular Vision | Year: 2012

Purpose: Neovascularization is a common complication of many degenerative and vascular diseases of the retina. Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) have a pathologic role in the development of retinal neovascularization, mainly for their ability in upregulating vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) secretion. The aim of this study was to investigate whether AGEs are able to modulate the secretion of VEGF-C, another angiogenic factor that increases the effect of VEGF-A. Methods: A human retinal pigment epithelial cell line (ARPE-19) and human endothelial vascular cell line (HECV) cells were cultured for 24 h in presence of AGEs, and then mRNA expression of VEGF-C was analyzed with reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). To verify whether AGEs-induced VEGF secretion is mediated by RAGE (Receptor for AGEs), RAGE expression was depleted using the small interfering RNA method. To investigate whether VEGF-A is involved in upregulating VEGF-C secretion, the cells were cultured for 24 h in the presence of bevacizumab, a monoclonal antibody against VEGF-A, alone or in combination with AGEs. VEGF-A and VEGF-C levels in the supernatants of the treated cells were evaluated with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Exposure to AGEs significantly increased VEGF-C gene expression in ARPE-19 cells. AGEs-induced VEGF-C secretion was upregulated in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and endothelial cells. Downregulation of RAGE expression decreased VEGF-A secretion in cell models, and increased VEGF-C secretion in ARPE-19 cells. Adding bevacizumab to the culture medium upregulated constitutive VEGF-C secretion but did not affect AGEs-induced VEGF-C secretion. Conclusions: These findings suggest that AGEs take part in the onset of retinal neovascularization, not only by modulating VEGF-A but also by increasing VEGF-C secretion. In addition, our results suggest that VEGF-C may compensate for treatments that reduce VEGF-A. © 2012 Molecular Vision. Source

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