Cell and Tissue Biology

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 292–304 | Cite as

The Effect of Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor on Signaling Pathways in Adult Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells

  • A. V. KuznetsovaEmail author
  • L. A. Rzhanova
  • A. M. Kurinov
  • M. A. Aleksandrova


Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) plays a key role in the development of many eye diseases characterized by visual impairment and even blindness. The use of cell cultures to model changes in RPE makes it possible to study stimulating factors and signaling pathways that coordinate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of intercellular interactions under pathological conditions. In addition, it is possible to identify targets and develop a specific therapy to eliminate pathological changes in the retina. Based on the results of previously obtained experimental data on decreased differentiation of RPE cells in the direction of the neuroepithelium after a single exposure to basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), research in this area was continued and changes in Wnt-, BMP-, and Notch-signaling pathways were examined. It is necessary for a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that decrease the level of differentiation of RPE cells. It was found that the addition of bFGF to culture decreased immunocytochemical staining for β-catenin; increased staining for Wnt7a, BMP2, and BMP7; and altered localization of stained BMP4. In addition, quantitative real-time PCR of RPE cells treated with bFGF revealed enhanced expression of mRNA of BMP2, a decreased expression of mRNA genes, such as CTNNB1, BMP4, and BMPR2, as well as mRNA of Notch-signaling genes, such as JAG1, NOTCH1, HES1, and HEY1. Analysis of the data indicates inactivation of the Wnt/β-catenin and Notch-signaling pathways, activation of the noncanonical Wnt/PCP signaling pathway, and modulating of BMP-signaling with a decrease in the level of differentiation of adult RPE cells after their a single (short-term) exposure to bFGF. Thus, the results obtained clarify the mechanisms of dedifferentiation of RPE cells under the influence of bFGF.


adult human retinal pigment epithelial cells basic fibroblast growth factor Wnt ВМР Notch 



This work was performed using the equipment of the Center for Collective Use of the Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences.


This work was performed as part of a state order of the Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, no. 0108-2019-0004.


Conflict of interests. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of compliance with standards of research involving humans as subjects. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants involved in the study.


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. V. Kuznetsova
    • 1
    Email author
  • L. A. Rzhanova
    • 1
  • A. M. Kurinov
    • 1
  • M. A. Aleksandrova
    • 1
  1. 1.Koltzov Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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