Effect of Monocarboxylate Transporter 2 Loss on Retinal Ganglion Cell Survival and Function

dc.creatorMurinda, Kudakwasheen_US
dc.creatorMorgan, Autumnen_US
dc.creatorInman, Deniseen_US
dc.creatorKiehlbauch, Charlesen_US
dc.descriptionResearch Appreciation Day Award Winner - HSC College of Pharmacy, 2023 Pharmaceutical Science Research Award - 3rd Placeen_US
dc.description.abstractPurpose: There is currently no cure for the vision loss in glaucoma that is characterized by retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss and irreversible optic neuropathy. Monocarboxylate transporter 2 (MCT2s) that transport pyruvate, lactate, and ketone bodies, are exclusively found in neurons such as the RGCs. We have previously shown that MCT2 is lost during glaucoma, in advance of RGC loss, and MCT2 overexpression protects RGC number and function. This study was undertaken to test whether MCT2s are necessary for RGC survival and function. Methods: To test this hypothesis, we used tamoxifen injection into Thy1-ERT2-cre: MCT2fl/fl mice to conditionally knock out MCT2 from Thy1-positive RGCs. Control mice carried the MCT2 flox’d allele but were Thy1-ERT2-cre-negative. Control and experimental mice were subjected to ocular hypertension using the magnetic microbead model; separate naïve controls from each genotype were also evaluated. Intraocular pressure (IOP) was measured using the TonoLab rebound tonometer. Pattern electroretinogram (PERG) was used to analyze RGC function. We used unbiased stereology (Stereo Investigator, Micro Brightfield) to count the number of retinal ganglion cells in wholemount retina, and ATP levels in retina were also measured. Results: IOP was higher in the ocular hypertension (OHT) groups. MCT2 knockout alone did not impact IOP, nor did it alter baseline PERG amplitude or latency. After OHT, PERG amplitude was significantly lower in the MCT2-knockout mice (p=0.0013). MCT2 knockout alone did not change RGC density. After OHT, RGC density decreased, though in this preliminary analysis, RGC density among the groups was not significantly different. ATP production in the OHT+ Tamoxifen group was significantly higher (1.81 +/- 0.89 ug/ul) than in the naïve control group (0.68 +/- 0.42 ug/ul). Conclusions: MCT2 knockout from RGCs did not change IOP or PERG, suggesting that MCT2 is not necessary for RGC survival. Ocular hypertension decreased PERG amplitude and RGC density, though the magnitude of the decrease may not have been increased by MCT2 knockout. These preliminary data suggest that RGCs are capable of meeting their immediate metabolic needs through means beyond MCT2.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipNIH: EY 026662en_US
dc.titleEffect of Monocarboxylate Transporter 2 Loss on Retinal Ganglion Cell Survival and Functionen_US