Glucose-induced increase in paracellular permeability and disruption of beta-receptor signaling in retinal endothelium.

Haselton FR, Dworska EJ, Hoffman LH
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1998 39 (9): 1676-84

PMID: 9699557

PURPOSE - To examine the effects of high glucose concentrations on retinal endothelial permeability in an in vitro model of the retinal microvasculature.

METHODS - The permeability of the endothelial barrier to small solutes was measured in a chromatographic cell column consisting of bovine retinal endothelial cells cultured on porous fibronectin-coated microcarriers. In each cell column, permeability changes were evaluated by comparing the treatment permeability response over time with the initial baseline permeability. Short-term (2-hour) barrier effects of glucose were examined by measuring permeability at 15-minute intervals after an increase in perfusate concentration from baseline (5.5 mM) to high (25 mM) glucose. Long-term (to 57 days) effects were tested by addition of 25 mM glucose to microcarrier cultures. The effect of glucose on beta-receptor signaling was tested by measuring its effect on the permeability decrease produced by 1 microM isoproterenol.

RESULTS - An increase from 5.5 mM to 25 mM glucose concentration did not change retinal endothelial cell monolayer permeability (n=6) during 2 hours. However, an increase in monolayer permeability was observed after 19 days (n=8) in the 25-mM glucose culture. Paralleling this time course, short-term exposure to 25 mM glucose did not prevent a decrease in permeability triggered by the beta-receptor agonist isoproterenol. However, the permeability effect of the agonist was blocked by long-term culture in 25 mM glucose. Permeability of retinal endothelial monolayers cultured in 5.5 mM glucose and treated with 1 microM isoproterenol decreased significantly to 0.71+/-0.06 of baseline (n=4; mean+/-SEM). However, permeability did not change in parallel cell columns made from microcarriers cultured in 25 mM glucose (0.97+/-0.2 of baseline permeability; n=4; mean+/-SEM).

CONCLUSIONS - High-glucose culture decreases the retinal endothelial barrier and blocks the response to beta-adrenergic receptors. This model may prove valuable in exploring other hypotheses of increased permeability associated with diabetic retinopathy or other retinal diseases that break down the retinal vascular barrier.

MeSH Terms (13)

Adrenergic beta-Agonists Animals Capillary Permeability Cattle Cells, Cultured Endothelium, Vascular Fluorescein Glucose Isoproterenol Microscopy, Electron, Scanning Receptors, Adrenergic, beta Retinal Vessels Vitamin B 12

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