Adiponectin receptor 1 conserves docosahexaenoic acid and promotes photoreceptor cell survival.

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Nat Commun 2015 Mar 4; 6:6228




The identification of pathways necessary for photoreceptor and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) function is critical to uncover therapies for blindness. Here we report the discovery of adiponectin receptor 1 (AdipoR1) as a regulator of these cells' functions. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is avidly retained in photoreceptors, while mechanisms controlling DHA uptake and retention are unknown. Thus, we demonstrate that AdipoR1 ablation results in DHA reduction. In situ hybridization reveals photoreceptor and RPE cell AdipoR1 expression, blunted in AdipoR1(-/-) mice. We also find decreased photoreceptor-specific phosphatidylcholine containing very long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and severely attenuated electroretinograms. These changes precede progressive photoreceptor degeneration in AdipoR1(-/-) mice. RPE-rich eyecup cultures from AdipoR1(-/-) reveal impaired DHA uptake. AdipoR1 overexpression in RPE cells enhances DHA uptake, whereas AdipoR1 silencing has the opposite effect. These results establish AdipoR1 as a regulatory switch of DHA uptake, retention, conservation and elongation in photoreceptors and RPE, thus preserving photoreceptor cell integrity. Nat Commun 2015 Mar 4; 6:6228