Elastin Layer in Bruch's Membrane as a Target for Immunization or Tolerization to Modulate Pathology in the Mouse Model of Smoke-Induced Ocular Injury

Bärbel Rohrer, Nathaniel Parsons, Balasubramaniam Annamalai, Crystal Nicholson, Elisabeth Obert, Bryan Jones, Andrew D Dick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is associated with an overactive complement system and an increase in circulating antibodies. Our search for potential neoantigens that can trigger complement activation in disease has led us to investigate elastin. A loss of the elastin layer (EL) of Bruch's membrane (BrM) has been reported in aging and AMD together with an increase of serum elastin-derived peptides and α-elastin antibodies. In the mouse model of cigarette smoke exposure (CSE), damage in BrM, loss of the EL, and vision loss are dependent on complement activation. We have examined the hypothesis that CSE generates immunogenic elastin neoepitopes that trigger an increase in α-elastin IgG and IgM antibodies, which can then bind to the neoepitopes in the target cells or membranes, triggering complement activation. Specifically, we showed that immunization with elastin peptide oxidatively modified by cigarette smoke (ox-elastin) exacerbated ocular pathology and vision loss in CSE mice. In contrast, mice receiving peptide immunotherapy (PIT) with ox-elastin did not lose vision over the smoking period and exhibited a more preserved BrM. Immunization and PIT correlated with humoral immunity and complement activation and IgG/IgM deposition in the RPE/BrM/choroid. Finally, PIT modulated immune markers IFNγ and IL-4. The data further support the hypothesis that complement activation, triggered by immune complex formation in target tissues, plays a role in ocular damage in the CSE model. As PIT with ox-elastin peptides reduces damage, we discuss the possibility that AMD progression might be preventable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-71
Number of pages5
JournalAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Volume1415
Early online date14 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
was provided in part by the National Institutes of Health R01EY019320 (BR), R01EY015128, R01EY028927 and P30EY014800 (BJ), the Department of Veterans Affairs RX000444 and BX003050 (BR), the South Carolina SmartState Endowment (BR), and Research to Prevent Blindness (Department of Ophthalmology, University of Utah). ADD is supported in part through the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital and University College London Institute of Ophthalmology. We would like to thank Carl Atkinson (MUSC) for the room air and smoke-exposed FcγRΙΙΙ−/− mice.

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments Funding was provided in part by the National Institutes of Health R01EY019320 (BR), R01EY015128, R01EY028927 and P30EY014800 (BJ), the Department of Veterans Affairs RX000444 and BX003050 (BR), the South Carolina SmartState Endowment (BR), and Research to Prevent Blindness (Department of Ophthalmology, University of Utah). ADD is supported in part through the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital and University College London Institute of Ophthalmology. We would like to thank Carl Atkinson (MUSC) for the room air and smoke-exposed FcγRΙΙΙ−/− mice.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Keywords

  • Mice
  • Animals
  • Bruch Membrane/pathology
  • Elastin/metabolism
  • Immunization
  • Macular Degeneration/metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Immunoglobulin G

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