1. Biochemistry
  2. Neuroscience
Download icon

Biochemical adaptations of the retina and retinal pigment epithelium support a metabolic ecosystem in the vertebrate eye

Research Article
Cited
0
Views
403
Comments
0
Cite as: eLife 2017;6:e28899 doi: 10.7554/eLife.28899

Abstract

Here we report multiple lines of evidence for a comprehensive model of energy metabolism in the vertebrate eye. Metabolic flux, locations of key enzymes, and our finding that glucose enters mouse and zebrafish retinas mostly through photoreceptors support a conceptually new model for retinal metabolism. In this model, glucose from the choroidal blood passes through the retinal pigment epithelium to the retina where photoreceptors convert it to lactate. Photoreceptors then export the lactate as fuel for the retinal pigment epithelium and for neighboring Müller glial cells. We used human retinal epithelial cells to show that lactate can suppress consumption of glucose by the retinal pigment epithelium. Suppression of glucose consumption in the retinal pigment epithelium can increase the amount of glucose that reaches the retina. This framework for understanding metabolic relationships in the vertebrate retina provides new insights into the underlying causes of retinal disease and age-related vision loss.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Mark A Kanow

    Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Michelle M Giarmarco

    Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon 0000-0003-3344-4268
  3. Connor SR Jankowski

    Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Kristine Tsantilas

    Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Abbi L Engel

    Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Jianhai Du

    Department of Ophthalmology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Jonathan D Linton

    Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Christopher C Farnsworth

    Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  9. Stephanie R Sloat

    Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  10. Austin Rountree

    Department of Medicine, UW Diabetes Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  11. Ian R Sweet

    Department of Medicine, UW Diabetes Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  12. Ken J Lindsay

    Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  13. Edward D Parker

    Department of Ophthalmology, University of Washington, Seattle, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  14. Susan E Brockerhoff

    Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  15. Martin Sadilek

    Department of Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  16. Jennifer R Chao

    Department of Ophthalmology, University of Washington, Seattle, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon 0000-0002-6859-5552
  17. James B Hurley

    Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, United States
    For correspondence
    jbhhh@uw.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon 0000-0002-7754-0705

Funding

National Eye Institute (EY06641)

  • James B Hurley

National Eye Institute (EY017863)

  • James B Hurley

National Eye Institute (EY026030)

  • Jianhai Du
  • Jennifer R Chao

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: All animal research was authorized by the University of Washington Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Ralph DeBerardinis, Reviewing Editor, UT Southwestern Medical Center, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: May 22, 2017
  2. Accepted: September 12, 2017
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: September 13, 2017 (version 1)

Copyright

© 2017, Kanow et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

Metrics

  • 403
    Page views
  • 98
    Downloads
  • 0
    Citations

Article citation count generated by polling the highest count across the following sources: PubMed Central, Scopus, Crossref.

Comments

Download links

A two-part list of links to download the article, or parts of the article, in various formats.

Downloads (link to download the article as PDF)

Download citations (links to download the citations from this article in formats compatible with various reference manager tools)

Open citations (links to open the citations from this article in various online reference manager services)

Further reading

    1. Neuroscience
    Sebastian A Vasquez-Lopez et al.
    Short Report Updated