More than 1 billion world's population actively smokes tobacco containing the bioactive component nicotine (NT). The biological role of this molecule is mediated through the activation of nicotinic cholinergic receptors, widely distributed in various human tissues including retinal pigmented epithelium. The long-term assumption of NT contributes to several diseases development such as diabetic retinopathy. The major complication of this pathology is the diabetic macular edema (DME), characterized by macular area thinning and blood-retinal barrier (BRB) breakdown. Retinal hyperglycemic/hypoxic microenvironment represents one of the main factors favoring DME progression by eliciting the hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) expression. The latter induce new vessels formation by stimulating cellular secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The etiology of DME is multifactorial, but little is known about the risk factors linked to cigarette smoking, in particular to nicotine's contribution. In the present study, we have investigated the NT role in a model, in vitro, of DME, by evaluating its effect on outer BRB permeability and HIFs/VEGF expression following exposure to hyperglycemic/hypoxic insult. Our results have demonstrated that this compound alters outer BRB integrity exposed to high glucose and low oxygen pressure microenvironment by upregulating HIF-1α/HIF-2α, VEGF expression and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. These data have suggested that NT may play a negative role in active smokers affected by DME.
|Titolo:||Nicotine promotes blood retinal barrier damage in a model of human diabetic macular edema|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|