The genomic response of the retinal pigment epithelium to light damage and retinal detachment

J Neurosci. 2008 Sep 24;28(39):9880-9. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2401-08.2008.


The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) plays an essential role in maintaining the health of the retina. The RPE is also the site of pathologic processes in a wide variety of retinal disorders including monogenic retinal dystrophies, age-related macular degeneration, and retinal detachment. Despite intense interest in the RPE, little is known about its molecular response to ocular damage or disease. We have conducted a comprehensive analysis of changes in transcript abundance (the "genomic response") in the murine RPE after light damage. Several dozen transcripts, many related to cell-cell signaling, show significant increases in abundance in response to bright light; transcripts encoding visual cycle proteins show a decrease in abundance. Similar changes are induced by retinal detachment. Environmental and genetic perturbations that modulate the RPE response to bright light suggest that this response is controlled by the retina. In contrast to the response to bright light, the RPE response to retinal detachment overrides these modulatory affects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dark Adaptation / genetics
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Eye Proteins / genetics
  • Eye Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation* / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation* / radiation effects
  • Genomics / methods
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Light / adverse effects*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Microarray Analysis / methods
  • Oncostatin M Receptor beta Subunit / metabolism
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / metabolism*
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / pathology
  • Retina / injuries*
  • Retinal Detachment* / genetics
  • Retinal Detachment* / metabolism
  • Retinal Detachment* / pathology
  • Subcellular Fractions / metabolism


  • Eye Proteins
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Oncostatin M Receptor beta Subunit
  • Osmr protein, mouse