Author(s): Samra YA, Kira D, Rajpurohit P, Mohamed R, Owen LA, Shakoor A, Kim IK, DeAngelis MM, Sheibani N, Al-Shabrawey M, Tawfik A. Implication of N-Methyl-d-Aspartate Receptor in Homocysteine-Induced Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 28;22(17). pii: 9356. doi: 10.3390/ijms22179356. PMID 34502266
Journal: International Journal Of Molecular Sciences, Volume 22, Issue 17, Aug 2021
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss. Elevated homocysteine (Hcy) (Hyperhomocysteinemia) (HHcy) has been reported in AMD. We previously reported that HHcy induces AMD-like features. This study suggests that N-Methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) activation in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a mechanism for HHcy-induced AMD. Serum Hcy and cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS) were assessed by ELISA. The involvement of NMDAR in Hcy-induced AMD features was evaluated (1) in vitro using ARPE-19 cells, primary RPE isolated from HHcy mice (CBS), and mouse choroidal endothelial cells (MCEC); (2) in vivo using wild-type mice and mice deficient in RPE NMDAR (NMDARR-/-) with/without Hcy injection. Isolectin-B4, Ki67, HIF-1α, VEGF, NMDAR1, and albumin were assessed by immunofluorescence (IF), Western blot (WB), Optical coherence tomography (OCT), and fluorescein angiography (FA) to evaluate retinal structure, fluorescein leakage, and choroidal neovascularization (CNV). A neovascular AMD patient’s serum showed a significant increase in Hcy and a decrease in CBS. Hcy significantly increased HIF-1α, VEGF, and NMDAR in RPE cells, and Ki67 in MCEC. Hcy-injected WT mice showed disrupted retina and CNV. Knocking down RPE NMDAR improved retinal structure and CNV. Our findings underscore the role of RPE NMDAR in Hcy-induced AMD features; thus, NMDAR inhibition could serve as a promising therapeutic target for AMD.