The influence of pro-inflammatory cytokines on human retinal pigment epithelium cell receptors
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Purpose: To investigate the mRNA expression of the receptors for tumour necrosis factor α (TNFRp55, TNFRp75), interferon γ (IFNγRα, IFNγRβ), interleukin 10 (IL-10R, CRFB4) and transforming growth factor β (TGFβRII) on human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells and to modulate this expression with the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IFN-γ as stimulators. Methods: The cells were cultured in the presence of TNF-α (10 ng/ml), IFN-γ (1000 U/ml) or a combination of both for 24 h, 48 h and 72 h. The total RNA was prepared, and the receptor mRNA expression was investigated by the reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction method. The changes in mRNA expression during the modulation were quantified by the ribonuclease protection assay. Results: The mRNA for TNFRp55, TNFRp75, IFNγRα, IFNγRβ, CRFB4 and TGFβRII was constitutively expressed in vitro. IL-10R mRNA was detected in neither unstimulated nor stimulated RPE cells. Especially the mRNA of the TNFRp75 was up-regulated, mainly by IFN-γ or the combination of both stimulators. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that human RPE cells express the mRNA of different cytokine receptors and the expression may be partially modulated by pro-inflammatory cytokines. This may show that RPE cells act as corresponding cells not only in vitro, but also in inflammation and immunological processes in the eye. In this connection it could be hypothesised that activated RPE cells play a stimulating role in addition to the known suppressive one.
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