FABP4 Is an Indispensable Factor for Regulating Cellular Metabolic Functions of the Human Retinal Choroid

Bioengineering (Basel). 2024 Jun 7;11(6):584. doi: 10.3390/bioengineering11060584.


The purpose of the current study was to elucidate the physiological roles of intraocularly present fatty acid-binding protein 4 (FABP4). Using four representative intraocular tissue-derived cell types, including human non-pigmented ciliary epithelium (HNPCE) cells, retinoblastoma (RB) cells, adult retinal pigment epithelial19 (ARPE19) cells and human ocular choroidal fibroblast (HOCF) cells, the intraocular origins of FABP4 were determined by qPCR analysis, and the intracellular functions of FABP4 were investigated by seahorse cellular metabolic measurements and RNA sequencing analysis using a specific inhibitor for FABP4, BMS309403. Among these four different cell types, FABP4 was exclusively expressed in HOCF cells. In HOCF cells, both mitochondrial and glycolytic functions were significantly decreased to trace levels by BMS309403 in a dose-dependent manner. In the RNA sequencing analysis, 67 substantially up-regulated and 94 significantly down-regulated differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in HOCF cells treated with BMS309403 and those not treated with BMS309403. The results of Gene Ontology enrichment analysis and ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA) revealed that the DEGs were most likely involved in G-alpha (i) signaling, cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) signaling in neurons, the S100 family signaling pathway, visual phototransduction and adrenergic receptor signaling. Furthermore, upstream analysis using IPA suggested that NKX2-1 (thyroid transcription factor1), HOXA10 (homeobox A10), GATA2 (gata2 protein), and CCAAT enhancer-binding protein A (CEBPA) were upstream regulators and that NKX homeobox-1 (NKX2-1), SFRP1 (Secreted frizzled-related protein 1) and TREM2 (triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2) were causal network master regulators. The findings in this study suggest that intraocularly present FABP4 originates from the ocular choroid and may be a critical regulator for the cellular homeostasis of non-adipocyte HOCF cells.

PMID:38927820 | DOI:10.3390/bioengineering11060584