Purpose: To test whether in an animal model of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) the Müller glial cells displayed an upregulation of purinergic P2 receptor-mediated responses.
Methods: PVR was induced by intravitreal injection of the proteolytic enzyme, dispase, in the eyes of adult rabbits. The developing PVR was examined ophthalmoscopically. After 3 weeks, small retinal pieces were wholemounted and used for calcium imaging, freshly dissociated Müller cells were subjected to calcium imaging, and patch-clamp recordings were made. The presence of P2 receptor-mediated Ca(2+) responses was determined both directly--that is, fluorometrically--and indirectly, by electrophysiological recording of Ca(2+)-activated K(+) currents.
Results: According to earlier observations in another model of retinal detachment and PVR, the reactive Müller cells displayed hypertrophy, downregulation of inwardly rectifying K(+) currents, and depolarization of the resting membrane potential, all dependent on the severity of the PVR. Further, significant PVR-induced increase was observed in the number of Müller cells responding to adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP), with a transient elevation of their [Ca(2+)](i). If isolated Müller cells were exposed to ATP, 13% of the control cells, but 29% (moderate PVR) or 53% (massive PVR) of the reactive cells, showed fluorometric Ca(2+) increases. An increase of Ca(2+)-activated K(+) currents was measured in 11% of the control cells, but in 83% (moderate PVR) and 90% (massive PVR) of the reactive cells. Confocal images of retinal wholemounts revealed similar results. Because similar responses were elicited by uridine triphosphate (UTP), the dominant involvement of metabotropic (P2Y type) purinergic receptors is suggested.
Conclusions: An upregulation of purinergic receptors is part of the reactive changes of Müller cells during PVR. It is suggested that ATP-evoked Ca(2+) responses may support the proliferation of Müller cells during PVR.