Effects of TNFα receptor TNF-Rp55- or TNF-Rp75- deficiency on corneal neovascularization and lymphangiogenesis in the mouse

PLoS One. 2021 Apr 9;16(4):e0245143. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0245143. eCollection 2021.


Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α is an inflammatory cytokine likely to be involved in the process of corneal inflammation and neovascularization. In the present study we evaluate the role of the two receptors, TNF-receptor (TNF-R)p55 and TNF-Rp75, in the mouse model of suture-induced corneal neovascularization and lymphangiogenesis. Corneal neovascularization and lymphangiogenesis were induced by three 11-0 intrastromal corneal sutures in wild-type (WT) C57BL/6J mice and TNF-Rp55-deficient (TNF-Rp55d) and TNF-Rp75-deficient (TNF-Rp75d) mice. The mRNA expression of VEGF-A, VEGF-C, Lyve-1 and TNFα and its receptors was quantified by qPCR. The area covered with blood- or lymphatic vessels, respectively, was analyzed by immunohistochemistry of corneal flatmounts. Expression and localization of TNFα and its receptors was assessed by immunohistochemistry of sagittal sections and Western Blot. Both receptors are expressed in the murine cornea and are not differentially regulated by the genetic alteration. Both TNF-Rp55d and TNF-Rp75d mice showed a decrease in vascularized area compared to wild-type mice 14 days after suture treatment. After 21 days there were no differences detectable between the groups. The number of VEGF-A-expressing macrophages did not differ when comparing WT to TNF-Rp55d and TNF-Rp75d. The mRNA expression of lymphangiogenic markers VEGF-C or LYVE-1 does not increase after suture in all 3 groups and lymphangiogenesis showed a delayed effect only for TNF-Rp75d. TNFα mRNA and protein expression increased after suture treatment but showed no difference between the three groups. In the suture-induced mouse model, TNFα and its ligands TNF-Rp55 and TNF-Rp75 do not play a significant role in the pathogenesis of neovascularisation and lymphangiogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cornea / metabolism
  • Cornea / pathology*
  • Corneal Neovascularization / genetics*
  • Corneal Neovascularization / pathology
  • Gene Deletion
  • Humans
  • Lymphangiogenesis
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I / analysis
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I / genetics*
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type II / analysis
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type II / genetics*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type II
  • Tnfrsf1a protein, mouse
  • Tnfrsf1b protein, mouse

Grant support

AKM: Financial support was provided for Anna-Karina B. Maier by the "Friedrich C. Luft" Clinical Scientist Pilot Program funded by Volkswagen Foundation and Charité Foundation and by the “Lydia Rabinowitsch-Stipendium” funded by Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.