Author(s): Falero-Perez J, Sorenson CM, Sheibani N. Retinal astrocytes transcriptome reveals Cyp1b1 regulates the expression of genes involved in cell adhesion and migration. PLoS One. 2020 Apr 24;15(4):e0231752. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0231752. eCollection 2020. PMID 32330152
Journal: Plo S One, Volume 15, Issue 4, 2020
Astrocytes (AC) are the most abundant cells in the central nervous system. In the retina, astrocytes play important roles in the development and integrity of the retinal neurovasculature. Astrocytes dysfunction contributes to pathogenesis of a variety of neurovascular diseases including diabetic retinopathy. Recent studies have demonstrated the expression of Cyp1b1 in the neurovascular cells of the central nervous system including AC. We recently showed retinal AC constitutively express Cyp1b1, and global Cyp1b1-deficiency (Cyp1b1-/-) attenuates retinal ischemia-mediated neovascularization in vivo and the pro-angiogenic activity of retinal vascular cells in vitro. We also demonstrated that Cyp1b1 expression is a key regulator of retinal AC function. However, the underlying mechanisms involved need further investigation. Here we determined changes in the transcriptome profiles of Cyp1b1+/+ and Cyp1b1-/- retinal AC by RNA sequencing. We identified 585 differentially expressed genes, whose pathway enrichment analysis revealed the most significant pathways impacted in Cyp1b1-/- AC. These genes included those of axon guidance, extracellular matrix proteins and their receptors, cancer, cell adhesion molecules, TGF-β signaling, and the focal adhesion modulation. The expression of a selected set of differentially expressed genes was confirmed by RT-qPCR analysis. To our knowledge, this is the first report of RNAseq investigation of the retinal AC transcriptome and the molecular pathways impacted by Cyp1b1 expression. These results demonstrated an important role for Cyp1b1 expression in the regulation of various retinal AC functions, which are important in neurovascular development and integrity.