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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Biochemistry - Molecular Biology - Neuroscience - Ophthalmology - Physiology

Protection of Blood Retinal Barrier and Systemic Vasculature by Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein-3
Published: Friday, July 06, 2012
Author: Yagna P. R. Jarajapu et al.

by Yagna P. R. Jarajapu, Jun Cai, Yuanqing Yan, Sergio Li Calzi, Jennifer L. Kielczewski, Ping Hu, Lynn C. Shaw, Sue M. Firth, Tailoi Chan-Ling, Michael E. Boulton, Robert C. Baxter, Maria B. Grant

Previously, we showed that insulin growth factor (IGF)-1 binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), independent of IGF-1, reduces pathological angiogenesis in a mouse model of the oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR). The current study evaluates novel endothelium-dependent functions of IGFBP-3 including blood retinal barrier (BRB) integrity and vasorelaxation. To evaluate vascular barrier function, either plasmid expressing IGFBP-3 under the regulation of an endothelial-specific promoter or a control plasmid was injected into the vitreous humor of mouse pups (P1) and compared to the non-injected eyes of the same pups undergoing standard OIR protocol. Prior to sacrifice, the mice were given an injection of horseradish peroxidase (HRP). IGFBP-3 plasmid-injected eyes displayed near-normal vessel morphology and enhanced vascular barrier function. Further, in vitro IGFBP-3 protects retinal endothelial cells from VEGF-induced loss of junctional integrity by antagonizing the dissociation of the junctional complexes. To assess the vasodilatory effects of IGFBP-3, rat posterior cerebral arteries were examined in vitro. Intraluminal IGFBP-3 decreased both pressure- and serotonin-induced constrictions by stimulating nitric oxide (NO) release that were blocked by L-NAME or scavenger receptor-B1 neutralizing antibody (SRB1-Ab). Both wild-type and IGF-1-nonbinding mutant IGFBP-3 (IGFBP-3NB) stimulated eNOS activity/NO release to a similar extent in human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVECs). NO release was neither associated with an increase in intracellular calcium nor decreased by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CamKII) blockade; however, dephosphorylation of eNOS-Thr495 was observed. Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) activity and Akt-Ser473 phosphorylation were both increased by IGFBP-3 and selectively blocked by the SRB1-Ab or PI3K blocker LY294002. In conclusion, IGFBP-3 mediates protective effects on BRB integrity and mediates robust NO release to stimulate vasorelaxation via activation of SRB1. This response is IGF-1- and calcium-independent, but requires PI3K/Akt activation, suggesting that IGFBP-3 has novel protective effects on retinal and systemic vasculature and may be a therapeutic candidate for ocular complications such as diabetic retinopathy.
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