PURPOSE - Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced retinal vascular permeability contributes to diabetic macular edema (DME), a serious vision-threatening condition. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β/δ (PPARβ/δ) antagonist/reverse agonist, GSK0660, inhibits VEGF-induced human retinal microvascular endothelial cell (HRMEC) proliferation, tubulogenesis, and oxygen-induced retinal vasculopathy in newborn rats. These VEGF-induced HRMEC behaviors and VEGF-induced disruption of endothelial cell junctional complexes may well share molecular signaling events. Thus, we sought to examine the role of PPARβ/δ in VEGF-induced retinal hyperpermeability.
METHODS - Transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) measurements were performed on HRMEC monolayers to assess permeability. Claudin-1/Claudin-5 localization in HRMEC monolayers was determined by immunocytochemistry. Extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (Erk 1/2) phosphorylation, VEGF receptor 1 (VEGFR1) and R2 were assayed by Western blot analysis. Expression of VEGFR1 and R2 was measured by quantitative RT-PCR. Last, retinal vascular permeability was assayed in vivo by Evans blue extravasation.
RESULTS - Human retinal microvascular endothelial cell monolayers treated with VEGF for 24 hours showed decreased TEER values that were completely reversed by the highest concentration of GSK0660 (10 μM) and PPARβ/δ-directed siRNA (20 μM). In HRMEC treated with VEGF, GSK0660 stabilized tight-junctions as evidenced by Claudin-1 staining, reduced phosphorylation of Erk1/2, and reduced VEGFR1/2 expression. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β/δ siRNA had a similar effect on VEGFR expression and Claudin-1, supporting the specificity of GSK0660 in our experiments. Last, GSK0660 significantly inhibited VEGF-induced retinal vascular permeability and reduced retinal VEGFR1and R2 levels in C57BL/6 mice.
CONCLUSIONS - These data suggest a protective effect for PPARβ/δ antagonism against VEGF-induced vascular permeability, possibly through reduced VEGFR expression. Therefore, antagonism/reverse agonism of PPARβ/δ siRNA may represent a novel therapeutic methodology against retinal hyperpermeability and is worthy of future investigation.
Copyright 2014 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.