Neural stem-progenitor cells circulating in peripheral blood of patients with neovascular form of AMD: a novel view on pathophysiologyReport as inadecuate

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Graefe-s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology

, Volume 249, Issue 12, pp 1785–1794

First Online: 17 August 2011Received: 01 April 2011Revised: 06 June 2011Accepted: 28 July 2011


BackgroundThe neovascular form of age-related macular degeneration AMD manifested with choroidal neovascularization CNV is one of the leading causes of rapid and irreversible visual loss. Recent reports suggest that bone marrow-derived stem-progenitor cells SPCs play a crucial role in the development and progression of the disease. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether or not undifferentiated non-haematopoietic stem cells, including those capable of differentiating into neural phenotypes, play a role in the pathological state of CNV formation.

MethodsPeripheral blood samples were collected from 46 patients diagnosed with CNV and from 46 controls. The CXCR4LinCD45 stem cells were counted and analysed by flow cytometry. Using qRT-PCR and immunocytofluorescence, the expression of early neural and glial cell markers β-III-tubulin, nestin, and glial fibrillary acidic protein in the sorted cells was analysed, and correlated with plasma concentrations of stromal cell-derived factor 1 SDF-1 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, which is a pivotal chemokine that regulates the trafficking of SPCs.

ResultsWe found that the number of circulating CXCR4LinCD45 cells did not differ in patients with active CNV as compared to the controls. However, we noticed significant intracellular overexpression of β-III-tubulin in the cells derived from AMD patients. Moreover, we observed significantly lower SDF-1 plasma levels in neovascular AMD patients compared to healthy individuals.

ConclusionsOur findings suggest that neural progenitor cells, together with low SDF-1 concentrations, may play a considerable role in the process of AMD progression. Further investigations aimed at the precise elucidation of these issues may help with the future development of effective prevention against, and the treatment of, this disease.

KeywordsAge-related macular degeneration Choroidal neovascularisation Tissue-committed stem cells  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Anna Machalińska - Patrycja Kłos - Krzysztof Safranow - Violetta Dziedziejko - Michał Rudnicki - Edyta Paczkowska - Danut


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