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Opa1 deficiency promotes development of retinal vascular lesions in diabetic retinopathy

Kim, Dongjoon, Votruba, Marcela ORCID: and Roy, Sayon 2021. Opa1 deficiency promotes development of retinal vascular lesions in diabetic retinopathy. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22 (11) , 5928. 10.3390/ijms22115928

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This study investigates whether reduced optic atrophy 1 (Opa1) level promotes apoptosis and retinal vascular lesions associated with diabetic retinopathy (DR). Four groups of mice: wild type (WT) control mice, streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice, Opa1+/− mice, and diabetic Opa1+/− mice were used in this study. 16 weeks after diabetes onset, retinas were assessed for Opa1 and Bax levels by Western blot analysis, and retinal networks were examined for acellular capillaries (AC) and pericyte loss (PL). Apoptotic cells were detected in retinal capillaries using TUNEL assay, and caspase-3 activity was assessed using fluorometric analysis. Opa1 expression was significantly downregulated in retinas of diabetic and Opa1+/− mice compared with those of WT mice. Inducing diabetes further decreased Opa1 expression in retinas of Opa1+/− mice. Increased cytochrome c release concomitant with increased level of pro-apoptotic Bax and elevated caspase-3 activity were observed in retinas of diabetic and Opa1+/− mice; the number of TUNEL-positive cells and AC/PL was also significantly increased. An additional decrease in the Opa1 level in retinas of diabetic Opa1+/− mice exacerbated the development of apoptotic cells and AC/PL compared with those of diabetic mice. Diabetes-induced Opa1 downregulation contributes, at least in part, to the development of retinal vascular lesions characteristic of DR.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Additional Information: This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/)
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 1422-0067
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 August 2021
Date of Acceptance: 27 May 2021
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 22:09

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