Transcriptional profile of CNV

American Journal of Pathology (2020)

Transcriptomic Characterization of Human Choroidal Neovascular Membranes Identifies Calprotectin as a Novel Biomarker for Patients with Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Anja Schlecht *, Stefaniya Boneva *, Markus Gruber, Peipei Zhang, Ralf Horres, Felicitas Bucher, Claudia Auw-Haedrich, Lutz Hansen, Andreas Stahl, Ingo Hilgendorf, Hansjürgen Agostini, Peter Wieghofer, Günther Schlunck, Julian Wolf #, Clemens A K Lange #

* contributed equally, # contributed equally as senior authors

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Recent studies deciphering the transcriptional profile of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in body donor eyes with neovascular age-related macular degeneration are limited by the time span from death to preservation and the associated 5'-RNA degradation. This study therefore used CNV and control specimens that were formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded immediately after surgical extraction and analyzed them by a 3'-RNA sequencing approach. Transcriptome profiles were analyzed to estimate content of immune and stromal cells and to define disease-associated gene signatures by using statistical and bioinformatics methods. This study identified 158 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) that were significantly increased in CNV compared with control tissue. Cell type enrichment analysis revealed a diverse cellular landscape with an enrichment of endothelial cells, macrophages, T cells, and natural killer T cells in the CNV. Gene ontology enrichment analysis found that DEGs contributed to blood vessel development, extracellular structure organization, response to wounding, and several immune-related terms. The S100 calcium-binding proteins A8 (S100A8) and A9 (S100A9) emerged among the top DEGs, as confirmed by immunohistochemistry on CNV tissue and protein analysis of vitreous samples. This study provides a high-resolution RNA-sequencing-based transcriptional signature of human CNV, characterizes its compositional pattern of immune and stromal cells, and reveals S100A8/A9 to be a novel biomarker and promising target for therapeutics and diagnostics directed at age-related macular degeneration.


Linked datasets

CNV membrane

Healthy choroid/RPE