Molecular vision

Ischemia-reperfusion injury of the retina is linked to necroptosis via the ERK1/2-RIP3 pathway.

PMID 25352744


Ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury is involved in the pathology of many retinal disorders since it contributes to the death of retinal neurons and the subsequent decline in vision. We determined the molecular patterns of some of the principal molecules involved in necroptosis and investigated whether IR retinal injury is associated with the extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1/2- receptor-interacting protein kinase 3 (ERK1/2-RIP3) pathway. The cellular and subcellular localization of molecules involved in the cell death pathway, including RAGE, ERK1/2, FLIP, and RIP3, was determined with immunohistochemistry of cryosections of IR-injured retina from 2-month-old Long Evans rats. The total and phosphorylated protein levels were analyzed with quantitative western blots. ERK1/2 activity was inhibited by intravitreal injection of U0126, a highly selective inhibitor of mitogen-activated protein kinase 1/2 (MEK1/2). The IR-injured rat retinas expressed two RAGE isoforms with different intracellular localizations at early time points after injury. At that time point, frame inhibition of ERK activation decreased RIP3 accumulation and cell death. FLIP was detected in the IR-injured rat retinas at early time points after ischemia reperfusion. We report that the necroptotic cell death mechanism is executed by an ERK1/2-RIP3 pathway in the retinal ganglion cells in early stages after IR injury. Inhibition of ERK1/2 activity increased retinal ganglion cell (RGC) survival indicating that targeting of this pathway within the initial 12 h after IR injury can be used to inhibit the necroptosis pathway. We also provide evidence that a novel RAGE isoform is expressed in the early stages in rat retinal RGCs.