Myeloid differentiation protein 2-dependent mechanisms in retinal ischemia-reperfusion injury

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Retinal ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury is a common pathological process in many eye disorders. Oxidative stress and inflammation play a role in retinal I/R injury. Recent studies show that toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is involved in initiating sterile inflammatory response in retinal I/R. However, the molecular mechanism by which TLR4 is activated is not known. In this study, we show that retinal I/R injury involves a co-receptor of TLR4, myeloid differentiation 2 (MD2). Inhibition of MD2 prevented cell death and preserved retinal function following retinal I/R injury. We confirmed these findings using MD2 knockout mice. Furthermore, we utilized human retinal pigment epithelial cells (ARPE-19 cells) to show that oxidative stress-induced cell death as well as inflammatory response are mediated through MD2. Inhibition of MD2 through a chemical inhibitor or knockdown prevented oxidative stress-induced cell death and expression of inflammatory cytokines. Oxidative stress was found to activate TLR4 in a MD2-dependent manner via increasing the expression of high mobility group box 1. In summary, our study shows that oxidative stress in retinal I/R injury can activate TLR4 signaling via MD2, resulting in induction of inflammatory genes and retinal damage. MD2 may represent an attractive therapeutic target for retinal I/R injury.HIGHLIGHTSMD2 inhibition reduced retinal damage after I/R induction in mice.TBHP induced TLR4/MD2 binding via increasing HMGB-1 expression.TLR4/MD2 initiated inflammatory response via activation of MAPKs and NF-κB.MD2 could be the therapeutic target for the treatment of retinal I/R.

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