Targeting of 12/15-Lipoxygenase in retinal endothelial cells, but not in monocytes/macrophages, attenuates high glucose-induced retinal leukostasis

Ahmed S. Ibrahim, Heba Saleh, Mohamed El-Shafey, Khaled A. Hussein, Khaled El-Masry, Babak Baban, Nader Sheibani, Mong Heng Wang, Amany Tawfik, Mohamed Al-Shabrawey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Aims Our previous studies have established a role for 12/15-lipoxygenase (LO) in mediating the inflammatory response in diabetic retinopathy (DR). However, the extent at which the local or systemic induction of 12/15-LO activity involved is unclear. Thus, the current study aimed to characterize the relative contribution of retinal endothelial versus monocytic/macrophagic 12/15-LO to inflammatory responses in DR. Materials & methods We first generated a clustered heat map for circulating bioactive lipid metabolites in the plasma of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice using liquid chromatography coupled with mass-spectrometry (LC–MS) to evaluate changes in circulating 12/15-LO activity. This was followed by comparing the in vitro mouse endothelium-leukocytes interaction between leukocytes isolated from 12/15-LO knockout (KO) versus those isolated from wild type (WT) mice using the myeloperoxidase (MPO) assay. Finally, we examined the effects of knocking down or inhibiting endothelial 12/15-LO on diabetes-induced endothelial cell activation and ICAM-1 expression. Results Analysis of plasma bioactive lipids' heat map revealed that the activity of circulating 12/15-LO was not altered by diabetes as evident by no significant changes in the plasma levels of major metabolites derived from 12/15-lipoxygenation of different PUFAs, including linoleic acid (13-HODE), arachidonic acid (12- and 15- HETEs), eicosapentaenoic acid (12- and 15- HEPEs), or docosahexaenoic acid (17-HDoHE). Moreover, leukocytes from 12/15-LO KO mice displayed a similar increase in adhesion to high glucose (HG)-activated endothelial cells as do leukocytes from WT mice. Furthermore, abundant proteins of 12-LO and 15-LO were detected in human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs), while it was undetected (15-LO) or hardly detectable (12-LO) in human monocyte-like U937 cells. Inhibition or knock down of endothelial 12/15-LO in HRECs blocked HG-induced expression of ICAM-1, a well-known identified important molecule for leukocyte adhesion in DR. Conclusion Our data support that endothelial, rather than monocytic/macrophagic, 12/15-LO has a critical role in hyperglycemia-induced ICAM-1 expression, leukocyte adhesion, and subsequent local retinal barrier dysfunction. This may facilitate the development of more precisely targeted treatment strategies for DR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)636-645
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • 12-HETE
  • 12/15-Lipoxygenase
  • 15-HETE
  • Bioactive lipids
  • Blood retinal barrier
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Eicosanoids
  • ICAM-1
  • Leukostasis
  • Permeability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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