Retinal pigment epithelial cells upregulate expression of complement factors after co-culture with activated T cells

Helene Bæk Juel, Charlotte Kaestel, Lasse Westergaard Folkersen, Carsten Faber, Niels Henrik Helweg Heegaard, Rehannah Borup, Mogens Holst Nissen

33 Citations (Scopus)


In this study we examined the effect of T cell-derived cytokines on retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells with respect to expression of complement components. We used an in vitro co-culture system in which CD3/CD28-activated human T cells were separated from the human RPE cell line (ARPE-19) by a membrane. Differential gene expression in the RPE cells of complement factor genes was identified using gene arrays, and selected gene transcripts were validated by q-RT-PCR. Protein expression was determined by ELISA and immunoblotting. Co-culture with activated T cells increased RPE mRNA and/or protein expression of complement components C3, factors B, H, H-like 1, CD46, CD55, CD59, and clusterin, in a dose-dependent manner. Soluble factors derived from activated T cells are capable of increasing expression of complement components in RPE cells. This is important for the further understanding of inflammatory ocular diseases such as uveitis and age-related macular degeneration.
Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental Eye Research
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)180-8
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Antigens, CD28
  • Antigens, CD3
  • Antigens, CD46
  • Antigens, CD59
  • Cell Line
  • Clusterin
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Complement C3b Inactivator Proteins
  • Complement Factor H
  • Complement System Proteins
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Retinal Pigment Epithelium
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Up-Regulation


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