Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a promising therapy to improve vascular repair, yet their role in ischemic retinopathy is not fully understood. The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of modulating the neurotrophin receptor; p75NTR on the vascular protection of MSCs in an acute model of retinal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). Wild type (WT) and p75NTR-/- mice were subjected to I/R injury by increasing intra-ocular pressure to 120 mmHg for 45 min, followed by perfusion. Murine GFP-labeled MSCs (100,000 cells/eye) were injected intravitreally 2 days post-I/R and vascular homing was assessed 1 week later. Acellular capillaries were counted using trypsin digest 10-days post-I/R. In vitro, MSC-p75NTR was modulated either genetically using siRNA or pharmacologically using the p75NTR modulator; LM11A-31, and conditioned media were co-cultured with human retinal endothelial cells (HREs) to examine the angiogenic response. Finally, visual function in mice undergoing retinal I/R and receiving LM11A-31 was assessed by visual-clue water-maze test. I/R significantly increased the number of acellular capillaries (3.2-Fold) in WT retinas, which was partially ameliorated in p75NTR-/- retinas. GFP-MSCs were successfully incorporated and engrafted into retinal vasculature 1 week post injection and normalized the number of acellular capillaries in p75NTR-/- retinas, yet ischemic WT retinas maintained a 2-Fold increase. Silencing p75NTR on GFP-MSCs coincided with a higher number of cells homing to the ischemic WT retinal vasculature and normalized the number of acellular capillaries when compared to ischemic WT retinas receiving scrambled-GFP-MSCs. In vitro, silencing p75NTR-MSCs enhanced their secretome, as evidenced by significant increases in SDF-1, VEGF and NGF release in MSCs conditioned medium; improved paracrine angiogenic response in HREs, where HREs showed enhanced migration (1.4-Fold) and tube formation (2-Fold) compared to controls. In parallel, modulating MSCs-p75NTR using LM11A-31 resulted in a similar improvement in MSCs secretome and the enhanced paracrine angiogenic potential of HREs. Further, intervention with LM11A-31 significantly mitigated the decline in visual acuity post retinal I/R injury. In conclusion, p75NTR modulation can potentiate the therapeutic potential of MSCs to harness vascular repair in ischemic retinopathy diseases.
View details for DOI 10.3390/ijms22020829
View details for PubMedID 33467640