Interleukin 27 induces the expression of complement factor H (CFH) in the retina

Ahjoku Amadi-Obi, Cheng-Rong Yu, Ivy Dambuza, Sung-Hye Kim, Bernadette Marrero, Charles E Egwuagu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Complement factor H (CFH) is a central regulator of the complement system and has been implicated in the etiology of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in the elderly. In view of previous studies showing that reduced expression of CFH in the retina is a risk factor for developing AMD, there is significant interest in understanding how CFH expression is regulated in the retina. In this study, we have shown that the anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-27, induced CFH expression in mouse retinal cells and human retinal pigmented epithelial cells (RPE) through STAT1-mediated up-regulation of Interferon Regulatory Factor-1 (IRF-1) and IRF-8. We further show that cells in the ganglion and inner-nuclear layers of the retina constitutively express IRF-1 and IRF-8 and enhanced CFH expression in the retina during ocular inflammation correlated with significant increase in the expression of IRF-1, IRF-8 and IL-27 (IL-27p28 and Ebi3). Our data thus reveal a novel role of IL-27 in regulating complement activation through up-regulation of CFH and suggest that defects in IL-27 signaling or expression may contribute to the reduction of CFH expression in the retina of patients with AMD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e45801
Number of pages9
JournalPloS ONE
Issue number9
Early online date20 Sep 2012
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2012


  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Complement Factor H/genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Interferon Regulatory Factor-1/genetics
  • Interferon Regulatory Factors/genetics
  • Interleukins/genetics
  • Macular Degeneration/metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Papilledema/metabolism
  • Primary Cell Culture
  • Retina/metabolism
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells/metabolism
  • Retinal Photoreceptor Cell Inner Segment/metabolism
  • Retinal Vasculitis/metabolism
  • STAT1 Transcription Factor/metabolism
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Uveitis/metabolism


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