Clathrin and adaptin accumulation in drusen, Bruch's membrane and choroid in AMD and non-AMD donor eyes


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Abstract

Clathrin was identified in a recent proteomic analysis of Bruch's membrane from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) donor eyes. The present study was conducted to determine the localization of clathrin in AMD tissues and to compare this distribution and relative content with that in non-AMD control tissues. The distribution of adaptin, which is functionally linked to clathrin, was also evaluated. Human eyes were from donors between 66 and 94 years of age; 13 eyes were from donors with AMD and 13 from non-AMD donors. Bruch's membrane and choroid from the macula of each donor eye were prepared for immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. Differences in immunoreactivity were quantitated. Drusen, Bruch's membrane and choroid from AMD tissues showed greater immunoreactivity for clathrin and adaptin than did non-AMD tissues. Western blots also showed more intense clathrin and adaptin immunoreactivity in AMD tissues than were present in non-AMD samples. This study suggests that accumulation of clathrin and adaptin in drusen, Bruch's membrane and choroid may reflect a higher rate of clathrin mediated endocytosis in AMD tissues. Alternatively, the accumulation of these proteins in these extracellular compartments may reflect a higher susceptibility to oxidative damage.

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