Diet-induced obesity leads to pro-inflammatory alterations to the vitreous humour of the eye in a rat model
Objective and design
The purpose of this study was to investigate if diet-induced obesity (DIO) and subsequent low-level systemic inflammation would result in local increases in pro-inflammatory mediators in the vitreous humour (VH) of the eyes of rats.
Sixteen male Sprague–Dawley rats were fed a high-fat/high-sucrose (n = 9) or chow control-diet (n = 7) for 12-weeks. RT-qPCR was conducted on RNA from VH cells and a 27-plex Luminex® Assay was conducted on VH fluid and serum.
Increased protein levels for IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-18 in both serum and VH fluid were observed. VH protein levels for IL-13 and IL-17 were also increased. All mediators significantly increased in VH fluid were also positively correlated with percent body fat. Increased mRNA levels in VH cells for an oxidative stress molecule were accompanied by decreased mRNA levels for an antioxidant scavenger, suggesting an antioxidant/oxidant imbalance in the VH with DIO. In addition, decreased mRNA levels for TRAIL, FAS-L and TGF-β, molecules associated with immune privilege, were also significantly depressed.
DIO-related metabolic disturbances disrupt VH homeostasis in a manner that reflects development of a pro-inflammatory environment. Prolonged exposure to such an environment may lead to overt pathologies with compromised eye function.
KeywordsObesity Vitreous humour NLRP3 inflammasome Chronic inflammation Antioxidant defense Rat
The authors thank Carolyn Hewitt, Ruth Seerattan and Jaqueline Rios for technical contributions to this paper.
Compliance with ethical standards
This work was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research # RT736475 and MOP 115,076, the Canada Research Chair Program, the Alberta Innovates Health Solutions Osteoarthritis Team Grant, Alberta Innovates Health Solutions, Alberta Health Services, Canadian Institutes of Health Research Banting and Best Canada Graduate Scholarship, and the Killam Foundation.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no competing financial interest.
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