Abnormal subretinal neovascularization is a characteristic of vision-threatening retinal diseases, including macular telangiectasia (MacTel) and retinal angiomatous proliferation (RAP). Subretinal neovascular tufts and photoreceptor dysfunction are observed in very-low-density lipoprotein receptor (Vldlr–/–) mutant mice. These changes mirror those observed in patients with MacTel and RAP, but the pathogenesis is largely unknown. In this study, we show that retinal microglia were closely associated with retinal neovascular tufts in Vldlr–/– mice and retinal tissue from patients with MacTel; ablation of microglia/macrophages dramatically prevented formation of retinal neovascular tufts and improved neuronal function, as assessed by electroretinography. Vldlr–/– mice with retinal pigmented epithelium–specific (RPE-specific) Vegfa had greatly reduced subretinal infiltration of microglia/macrophages, subsequently reducing neovascular tufts. These findings highlight the contribution of microglia/macrophages to the pathogenesis of neovascularization, provide valuable clues regarding potential causative cellular mechanisms for subretinal neovascularization in patients with MacTel and RAP and suggest that targeting microglia activation may be a therapeutic option in these diseases.
Ayumi Usui-Ouchi, Yoshihiko Usui, Toshihide Kurihara, Edith Aguilar, Michael I. Dorrell, Yoichiro Ideguchi, Susumu Sakimoto, Stephen Bravo, Martin Friedlander
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.