Scott Whitmore will Present his Research on March 20, 2014
Insult by complement: Laying the MAC down on monkey choroidal endothelial cells
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible blindness among elderly adults in developed countries. Mounting evidence points to complement activation in the choriocapillaris as the earliest pathological change in AMD. We hypothesized that formation of the membrane attack complex (MAC), the final stage of complement activation, alters gene expression in primate choroidal endothelial cells, creating an environment conducive to AMD. To test this hypothesis, we challenged RF/6A cells with normal and heat-inactivated human serum and assessed the cellular response using immunohistochemistry and RNA-Seq. MAC treated cells showed altered gene expression in several pathways, including some implicated in AMD.