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Clin Exp Immunol. 2003 Feb;131(2):248-53.

Differential cytokine expression of human retinal pigment epithelial cells in response to stimulation by C5a.

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Institute of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.


Human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells form part of the blood-retina barrier where they potentially can regulate leucocyte function. RPE cells are known to secrete several cytokines in response to stimulation by other cytokines. Anaphylatoxin C5a, a potent inflammatory mediator produced during complement activation, binds to G-protein coupled C5a receptors (C5aR) on monocytes/macrophages and releases various cytokines from the cells. We previously reported that the human RPE cell line ARPE-19 possesses C5aR and expresses IL-8 mRNA in response to C5a stimulation. In this study, we used a primary human RPE cell line (RPE43) and found that C5a induces increased expression of IL-1beta, IL-6, MCP-1 and GM-CSF mRNAs as well as IL-8 mRNA. ARPE-19 cells showed similar increases in the same cytokines. Interestingly, the kinetics of expression of the various cytokines differed. These results provide further evidence that C5a stimulation of RPE cells may play a role in regulating leucocyte function during ocular inflammation in which there is complement activation.

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