Scientific reports

Myeloid-Specific Blockade of Notch Signaling Attenuates Choroidal Neovascularization through Compromised Macrophage Infiltration and Polarization in Mice.

PMID 27339903


Macrophages have been recognized as an important inflammatory component in choroidal neovascularization (CNV). However, it is unclear how these cells are activated and polarized, how they affect angiogenesis and what the underlining mechanisms are during CNV. Notch signaling has been implicated in macrophage activation. Previously we have shown that inducible disruption of RBP-J, the critical transcription factor of Notch signaling, in adult mice results in enhanced CNV, but it is unclear what is the role of macrophage-specific Notch signaling in the development of CNV. In the current study, by using the myeloid specific RBP-J knockout mouse model combined with the laser-induced CNV model, we show that disruption of Notch signaling in macrophages displayed attenuated CNV growth, reduced macrophage infiltration and activation, and alleviated angiogenic response after laser induction. The inhibition of CNV occurred with reduced expression of VEGF and TNF-α in infiltrating inflammatory macrophages in myeloid specific RBP-J knockout mice. These changes might result in direct inhibition of EC lumen formation, as shown in an in vitro study. Therefore, clinical intervention of Notch signaling in CNV needs to pinpoint myeloid lineage to avoid the counteractive effects of global inhibition.