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Nestin contributes to laser choroidal and retinal neovascularization.

  • Miloudi, Sofiane1
  • Valensi, Maud1
  • El Sanharawi, Mohamed1
  • Abitbol, Marc M1, 2
  • Behar-Cohen, Francine1, 3
  • Versaux-Botteri, Claudine1
  • 1 Centre de Recherches des Cordeliers, UMR_S INSERM 1138, Équipe 17, Université Paris Cité, Université Paris Sorbonne Cité, Paris, France. , (France)
  • 2 APHP, Hôpital Universitaire Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, France. , (France)
  • 3 APHP, Hôpital Universitaire Cochin-Hôtel Dieu, Paris, France. , (France)
Published Article
Molecular vision
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
PMID: 36284669


Choroidal and retinal neovascularization plays an essential role in various ocular diseases. In this study, we examined the role of nestin in this process. Nestin is an intermediate filament protein known to play several roles, including as a marker of neural progenitor and proliferating endothelial cells. We used Brown Norway rats, in which choroidal and retinal neovascularization was induced using intraocular laser impacts. The role of nestin was examined using angiography, western blot from the second to the 14th day after laser impacts, and intraocular injection of nestin siRNA. The localization of the protein was specified by co-immunoreactivity with glial fibrillary protein (GFAP), glutamine synthetase (GS), and von Willebrand factor (vWF). In the control retina, nestin was found principally in glial structures in the ganglion cell layer, as confirmed by nestin/GFAP immunolabeling. Two days after the laser impacts, the nestin expression extended to numerous radial processes at the site of the impacts. With Bruch's membrane ruptured, these processes penetrated into the choroid. Nestin immunolabeling remained high from the third to the seventh day but appeared reduced on the 14th day. The nature of these processes was not clearly defined, but co-immunolabeling with GFAP suggested that they were principally in activated Müller cells from the third day after the laser impacts. However, the co-immunoreactivity of nestin and GS, a marker of mature functional Müller cells, could be observable only from the seventh day. Nestin was also observed in some vascular cells, as demonstrated by the co-immunoreactivity of the protein with vWF in the choroid and retina. As observed on angiography, the numbers of choroidal and retinal blood vessels were significantly increased (principally on the seventh day) after the laser impacts. An intraocular injection of nestin siRNAs led to a significant decrease in the number of blood vessels. Our results confirmed the presence of nestin in glial (e.g., astrocytes), reactive Müller, and endothelial cells. They demonstrated their critical involvement in a rat model of retinal and choroidal neovascularization experimentally induced using ocular laser impacts. Copyright © 2022 Molecular Vision.

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