Retinal pigment epithelium responses to selective retina therapy in mouse eyes

Hoon Dong Kim, Sun Young Jang, Si Hyung Lee, Young Shin Kim, Young Hoon Ohn, Ralf Brinkmann, Tae Kwann Park*

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


PURPOSE. To investigate the characteristics of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and retinal damage induced by selective retina therapy (SRT) in mice, and to elucidate longitudinal changes in RPE cells. METHODS. C57BL/6J mice received SRT and continuous-wave laser photocoagulation (cwPC). The cell death pattern was evaluated using TUNEL assay, and proliferative potential of the RPE cells was evaluated using 5-ethynyl-2’-dexoyuridine (EdU) assay. To investigate the cell-cell integrity of RPE cells, β-catenin staining was performed. The number and hexagonality of RPE cells in the SRT-treated area were estimated using a Voronoi diagram with time periods of 3 hours to 14 days. Antibodies to microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MiTF) and orthodenticle homeobox 2 (Otx2) were used to confirm the specific characteristics of RPE cells in the SRT-treated area. RESULTS. The number of TUNEL-positive cells located in the neural retina was significantly lower in lesions treated with SRT compared to those treated with cwPC. EdU-positive RPE cells were first detected 3 to 12 hours after SRT, and increased until 3 to 7 days after SRT. β-catenin staining showed that hexagonality was compromised and subsequently, RPE cells expanded in size within the targeted location. The number of RPE cells in SRT lesions decreased gradually until 12 hours after SRT and recovered by 14 days. Upregulated expression of MiTF and Otx2 was observed for 2 weeks in the SRT lesions. CONCLUSIONS. Selective retina therapy seems to induce selective RPE damage without collateral thermal injury in the neural retina. Furthermore, SRT-treated lesions recovered by proliferation of RPE cells that were present in the treated lesions and by expansion of adjacent RPE cells.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)3486-3495
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 01.06.2016


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