Activin expression by cultured human retinal pigment epithelial cells.
PURPOSE: To determine whether human retinal pigment epithelial (hRPE) cells produce activin, a growth factor in the transforming growth factor beta family, and to characterize growth regulatory effects of activin on retinal pigment epithelium. METHODS: mRNA expression was examined using polymerase chain reaction with primers specific for the beta A and beta B chains of activin and by slot blot analysis with a probe specific for the beta A chain. Protein localization was determined immunocytochemically using antibodies specific for the beta A chain of activin and intact activin A. The effect of activin A on DNA synthesis was studied by measuring (3H) thymidine incorporation after cells were exposed to recombinant human activin A (rhA). Growth regulatory effects of rhA on hRPE cells were examined with cell growth assays. RESULTS: beta A mRNA was expressed constitutively in 8/8 cells lines tested. beta B mRNA was not expressed in any of the six cell lines tested but was expressed in human ovarian granulosa cell controls. Positive immunostaining was observed for both the beta A chain and intact activin A. (3H) thymidine incorporation was inhibited 44% (P < 0.025), 45% (P < 0.025), and 44% (P < 0.015) when RPE cells were exposed to 100 ng/ml rhA and grown in serum-free medium, medium with 0.5% serum, and 1% serum, respectively. Cell growth was inhibited 33.2% (P = 0.0001) after RPE cells were exposed to 100 ng/ml rhA for 8 days. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that activin A can act as an autocrine-paracrine growth regulator in RPE cells and may help control cellular growth in ocular development and proliferative eye disease.
Jaffe, GJ; Harrison, CE; Lui, GM; Roberts, WL; Goldsmith, PC; Mesiano, S; Jaffe, RB
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