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Journal Articles Acta Neuropathologica Year : 2023

The choroidal nervous system: a link between mineralocorticoid receptor and pachychoroid

Le système nerveux choroïdien : un lien entre le récepteur minéralocorticoïde et la pachychoroide


Central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR) belongs to the pachychoroid spectrum, a pathological phenotype of the choroidal vasculature, in which blood flow is under the choroidal nervous system (ChNS) regulation. The pathogenesis of CSCR is multifactorial, with the most recognised risk factor being intake of glucocorticoids, which activate both the gluco-and the mineralocorticoid (MR) receptors. As MR over-activation is pathogenic in the retina and choroid, it could mediate the pathogenic effects of glucocorticoids in CSCR. But the role of MR signalling in pachychoroid is unknown and whether it affects the ChNS has not been explored. Using anatomo-neurochemical characterisation of the ChNS in rodents and humans, we discovered that beside innervation of arteries, choroidal veins and choriocapillaris are also innervated, suggesting that the entire choroidal vasculature is under neural control. The numerous synapses together with calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) vesicles juxtaposed to choroidal macrophages indicate a neuro-immune crosstalk. Using ultrastructural approaches, we show that transgenic mice overexpressing human MR, display a pachychoroid-like phenotype, with signs of choroidal neuropathy including myelin abnormalities, accumulation and enlargement of mitochondria and nerves vacuolization. Transcriptomic analysis of the RPE/choroid complex in the transgenic mice reveals regulation of corticoids target genes, known to intervene in nerve pathophysiology, such as Lcn2, rdas1/dexras1, S100a8 and S100a9, rabphilin 3a (Rph3a), secretogranin (Scg2) and Kinesin Family Member 5A (Kif5a). Genes belonging to pathways related to vasculature development, hypoxia, epithelial cell apoptosis, epithelial mesenchymal transition, and inflammation, support the pachychoroid phenotype and highlight downstream molecular targets. Hypotheses on the imaging phenotype of pachychoroid in humans are put forward in the light of these new data. Our results provide evidence that MR overactivation causes a choroidal neuropathy that could explain the pachychoroid phenotype found in transgenic mice overexpressing human MR. In patients with pachychoroid and CSCR in which systemic dysautonomia has been demonstrated, MR-induced choroidal neuropathy could be the missing link between corticoids and pachychoroid.
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hal-04205486 , version 1 (13-09-2023)





Bastien Leclercq, Allon Weiner, Marta Zola, Dan Mejlacowicz, Patricia Lassiaz, et al.. The choroidal nervous system: a link between mineralocorticoid receptor and pachychoroid. Acta Neuropathologica, 2023, 146 (5), pp.747-766. ⟨10.1007/s00401-023-02628-3⟩. ⟨hal-04205486⟩
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