The pro-inflammatory role of high-mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB-1) in photoreceptors and retinal explants exposed to elevated pressure.

Michael R R Böhm, Maurice Schallenberg, Katrin Brockhaus, Harutyun Melkonyan, Solon Thanos,

Laboratory investigation; a journal of technical methods and pathology, January 18, 2016

To determine the role of high-mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB-1) in cellular and tissue models of elevated pressure-induced neurodegeneration, regeneration, and inflammation. Mouse retinal photoreceptor-derived cells (661W) and retinal explants were incubated either under elevated pressure or in the presence of recombinant HMGB-1 (rHMGB-1) to investigate the mechanisms of response of photoreceptors. Immunohistochemistry, western blotting, and the quantitative real-time PCR were used to examine the expression levels of immunological factors (eg, HMGB-1, receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE)), Toll-like receptors 2 and 4 (TLR-2, TLR-4), apoptosis-related factors (eg, B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), Bcl-2-associated death promoter (Bad)) as well as cytokine expression (eg, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)). The data revealed increased the expression of HMGB-1 and its receptors RAGE, TLR-2, and TLR-4, and TNF-α as well as pro-apoptotic factors (eg, Bad) as well as apoptosis in 661W cells exposed to elevated pressure. Co-cultivation of 661W cells with rHMGB-1 increased the expression levels of pro-apoptotic Bad and cleaved Caspase-3 resulting in apoptosis. Cytokine array studies revealed an increased release of TNF-α, IL-4, IL-6, and VEGF after incubation of 661W cells with rHMGB-1. Upregulation of HMGB-1, TLR-2, and RAGE as well as anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 expression levels was found in the retinal explants exposed to rHMGB-1 or elevated pressure. The results suggest that HMGB-1 promotes an inflammatory response and mediates apoptosis in the pathology of photoreceptors and retinal homeostasis. HMGB-1 may have a key role in ongoing damage of retinal cells under conditions of elevated intraocular pressure.Laboratory Investigation advance online publication, 18 January 2016; doi:10.1038/labinvest.2015.156.

Pubmed Link: 26779828

DOI: 10.1038/labinvest.2015.156