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Lorenz, Lea; Hirmer, Sieglinde; Schmalen, Adrian; Hauck, Stefanie M. and Deeg, Cornelia A. (2021): Cell Surface Profiling of Retinal Muller Glial Cells Reveals Association to Immune Pathways after LPS Stimulation. In: Cells, Vol. 10, No. 3, 711

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Retinal Muller glial cells (RMG) are involved in virtually every retinal disease;however, the role of these glial cells in neuroinflammation is still poorly understood. Since cell surface proteins play a decisive role in immune system signaling pathways, this study aimed at characterizing the changes of the cell surface proteome of RMG after incubation with prototype immune system stimulant lipopolysaccharide (LPS). While mass spectrometric analysis of the human Muller glia cell line MIO-M1 revealed 507 cell surface proteins in total, with 18 proteins significantly more abundant after stimulation (ratio >= 2), the surfaceome of primary RMG comprised 1425 proteins, among them 79 proteins with significantly higher abundance in the stimulated state. Pathway analysis revealed notable association with immune system pathways such as antigen presentation, immunoregulatory interactions between a lymphoid and a non-lymphoid cell and cell migration. We could demonstrate a higher abundance of proteins that are usually ascribed to antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and function to interact with T-cells, suggesting that activated RMG might act as atypical APCs in the course of ocular neuroinflammation. Our data provide a detailed description of the unstimulated and stimulated RMG surfaceome and offer fundamental insights regarding the capacity of RMG to actively participate in neuroinflammation in the retina.

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