Retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells form part of the blood-retina barrier and have recently been shown to produce various chemokines in response to proinflammatory cytokines. As the scope of chemokine action has been shown to extend beyond the regulation of leukocyte migration, we have investigated the expression of chemokine receptors on RPE cells to determine whether they could be a target for chemokine signaling. RT-PCR analysis indicated that the predominant receptor expressed on RPE cells was CXCR4. The level of CXCR4 mRNA expression, but not cell surface expression, increased on stimulation with IL-1β or TNF-α. CXCR4 protein could be detected on the surface of 16% of the RPE cells using flow cytometry. Calcium mobilization in response to the CXCR4 ligand stromal cell-derived factor 1α (SDF-1α) indicated that the CXCR4 receptors were functional. Incubation with SDF-1α resulted in secretion of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, IL-8, and growth-related oncogene α. RPE cells also migrated in response to SDF-1α. As SDF-1α expression by RPE cells was detected constitutively, we postulate that SDF-1-CXCR4 interactions may modulate the affects of chronic inflammation and subretinal neovascularization at the RPE site of the blood-retina barrier.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Oct 2000|