AGEs mediated expression and secretion of TNF alpha in rat retinal microglia

Ai Ling Wang, Albert C.H. Yu, Qi Hua He, Xiu'An Zhu, Mark O.M. Tso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Diabetic retinopathy induces an inflammatory response in the retina characterized by an increase in inflammatory cytokines and the activation of microglia. The degree of microglia activation may influence the extent of retina injury following retinal metabolic stress. We have previously shown that DR rats have elevated levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in their blood. We have also suggested that AGEs might be involved in microglial activation and production of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF α). In this study, we attempted to confirm that AGEs induce the release of TNF α from rat retinal microglia using an in vitro microglia culture system, and concurrently to explore the mediating mechanisms. AGEs increased the protein secretion and mRNA expression of TNF α in cultured rat retinal microglia. These effects of AGEs were primarily mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, the inhibitors for mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK; p38, JNK and ERK 1/2) and nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB) could significantly decrease AGEs-induced TNF α release. AGEs-activated microglia showed an increase of NF-kB p65 nuclear translocation. These observations indicated that pathophysiological levels of AGEs may alter rat retinal microglia function by up-regulating TNF α expression and release via enhanced formation of intracellular ROS. AGEs-induced ROS subsequently activates MAPK (p38, JNK and ERK1/2) and NF-kB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)905-913
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental eye research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


  • AGEs
  • TNF α
  • diabetic retinopathy
  • retinal microglia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'AGEs mediated expression and secretion of TNF alpha in rat retinal microglia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this