Author(s): Mohamed IN, Sheibani N, El-Remessy AB. Deletion of thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) abrogates high fat diet-induced retinal leukostasis, barrier dysfunction and microvascular degeneration in a mouse obesity model. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Jun 1;21(11). pii: E3983. doi: 10.3390/ijms21113983. PMID 32492941
Journal: International Journal Of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21, Issue 11, Jun 2020
We have shown that a high fat diet (HFD) induces the activation of retinal NOD-like receptor protein (NLRP3)-inflammasome that is associated with enhanced expression and interaction with thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP). Here, the specific contribution of TXNIP and the impact of HFD on retinal leukostasis, barrier dysfunction and microvascular degeneration were investigated. Wild-type (WT) and TXNIP knockout (TKO) mice were fed with normal diet or 60% HFD for 8-18 weeks. TXNIP was overexpressed or silenced in human retinal endothelial cells (REC). At 8 weeks, HFD significantly induced retinal leukostasis and breakdown of the blood-retina barrier in WT mice, but not in TKO mice. In parallel, HFD also induced retinal expression of adhesion molecules and cleaved IL-1β in WT mice, which were also abrogated in TKO mice. In culture, TXNIP overexpression induced NLRP3, IL-1b, and adhesion molecules expression, while TXNIP silencing inhibited them. Blocking the IL-1β receptor significantly suppressed TXNIP-induced expression of NLRP3-inflammasome and adhesion molecules in HREC. Ex-vivo assay showed that leukocytes isolated from WT-HFD, but not from TKO-HFD, induced leukostasis and cell death. At 18 weeks, HFD triggered development of degenerated (acellular) capillaries and decreased branching density in WT but not in TKO mice. Together, HFD-induced obesity triggered early retinal leukostasis and microvascular dysfunction at least in part via TXNIP-NLRP3-inflammasome activation.