Author(s): Wang S, Zaitoun IS, Darjatmoko SR,Sheibani N, Sorenson CM. Bim Expression Promotes the Clearance of Mononuclear Phagocytes during Choroidal Neovascularization, Mitigating Scar Formation in Mice. Life (Basel). 2022 Jan 29;12(2). pii: 208. doi: 10.3390/life12020208. PMID 35207495
Journal: Life (Basel, Switzerland), Volume 12, Issue 2, Jan 2022
Inflammation is increasingly recognized as an important modulator in the pathogenesis of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD). Although significant progress has been made in delineating the pathways that contribute to the recruitment of inflammatory cells and their contribution to nAMD, we know little about what drives the resolution of these inflammatory responses. Gaining a better understanding of how immune cells are cleared in the choroid will give a novel insight into how sustained inflammation could influence the pathogenesis of nAMD. The pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family member Bim is a master regulator of immune cell homeostasis. In its absence, immune cell lifespan and numbers increase. Most therapeutic regimes that squelch inflammation do so by enhancing immune cell apoptosis through enhanced Bim expression and activity. To test the hypothesis that Bim expression tempers inflammation during the pathogenesis of nAMD, we used the mouse laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV) model in which inflammation acts as a facilitator of CNV. Here, we showed minimal to no change in the recruitment of F4/80-, CD80-, CD11b-, and Iba1-positive myeloid-derived mononuclear phagocytes to the site of laser photocoagulation in the absence of Bim expression. However, the resolution of these cells from the choroid of Bim-deficient (Bim -/-) mice was significantly diminished following laser photocoagulation. With time, we noted increased scar formation, demonstrated by collagen I staining, in Bim -/- mice with no change in the resolution of neovascularization compared to wild-type littermates. We also noted that mice lacking Bim expression in mononuclear phagocytes (BimFlox/Flox; Lyz2-Cre (BimMP) mice) had delayed resolution of F4/80-, CD80-, CD11b-, and Iba1-positive cells, while those lacking Bim expression in endothelial cells (BimFlox/Flox; Cad5-Cre (BimEC) mice) had delayed resolution of only CD11b- and Iba1-positive cells. Both BimMP and BimEC mice demonstrated increased scar formation, albeit to differing degrees. Thus, our studies show that resolving inflammation plays an important role in moderating scar formation in nAMD, and it is impacted by Bim expression in both the endothelium and mononuclear phagocyte lineages.