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GSH-Independent Induction of ER Stress during Hypoglycaemia in the Retinal Cells of Mice.

Journal of clinical medicine (2021-07-03)
Daria Fresia, Enrica Cannizzaro, Angelica Borgo, Raphaël Roduit
ABSTRACT

Glucose is one of the most important metabolic substrates of the retina, and glycaemic imbalances can lead to serious side effects, including retinopathy. We previously showed that hypoglycaemia induces retinal cell death in mice, as well as the implication of glutathione (GSH) in this process. This study aimed to analyse the role of low glucose-induced decrease in GSH levels in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. We cultured 661W photoreceptor-like cells under various glucose conditions and analysed ER stress markers at the mRNA and protein levels. We used the ERAI ("ER stress-activated indicator") mouse model to test ER stress in both ex vivo, on retinal explants, or in vivo, in mice subjected to hypoglycaemia. Moreover, we used buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) and glutamate cysteine ligase (Gclm)-KO mice as models of low GSH to test its effects on ER stress. We show that the unfolded protein response (UPR) is triggered in 661W cells and in ERAI mice under hypoglycaemic conditions. Low GSH levels promote cell death, but have no impact on ER stress. We concluded that low glucose levels induce ER stress independently of GSH levels. Inhibition of ER stress could prevent neurodegeneration, which seems to be an early event in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy.

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