Cell-Type-Specific Complement Expression in the Healthy and Diseased Retina

Academic Article


  • Complement dysregulation is a feature of many retinal diseases, yet mechanistic understanding at the cellular level is limited. Given this knowledge gap about which retinal cells express complement, we performed single-cell RNA sequencing on ∼92,000 mouse retinal cells and validated our results in five major purified retinal cell types. We found evidence for a distributed cell-type-specific complement expression across 11 cell types. Notably, Müller cells are the major contributor of complement activators c1s, c3, c4, and cfb. Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) mainly expresses cfh and the terminal complement components, whereas cfi and cfp transcripts are most abundant in neurons. Aging enhances c1s, cfb, cfp, and cfi expression, while cfh expression decreases. Transient retinal ischemia increases complement expression in microglia, Müller cells, and RPE. In summary, we report a unique complement expression signature for murine retinal cell types suggesting a well-orchestrated regulation of local complement expression in the retinal microenvironment.
  • Published In

  • Cell Reports  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 14280336
  • Author List

  • Pauly D; Agarwal D; Dana N; Schäfer N; Biber J; Wunderlich KA; Jabri Y; Straub T; Zhang NR; Gautam AK
  • Start Page

  • 2835
  • End Page

  • 2848.e4
  • Volume

  • 29
  • Issue

  • 9