Myo/Nog Cells Give Rise to Myofibroblasts During Epiretinal Membrane Formation in a Mouse Model of Proliferative Vitreoretinopathy.

Mara Crispin, Jacquelyn Gerhart, Alison Heffer, Mark Martin, Fathma Abdalla, Arturo Bravo Nuevo, Nancy J Philp, Ajay E Kuriyan, Mindy George-Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: Myo/Nog cells are the source of myofibroblasts in the lens and synthesize muscle proteins in human epiretinal membranes (ERMs). In the current study, we examined the response of Myo/Nog cells during ERM formation in a mouse model of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR).

METHODS: PVR was induced by intravitreal injections of gas and ARPE-19 cells. PVR grade was scored by fundus imaging, optical coherence tomography, and histology. Double label immunofluorescence localization was performed to quantify Myo/Nog cells, myofibroblasts, and leukocytes.

RESULTS: Myo/Nog cells, identified by co-labeling with antibodies to brain-specific angiogenesis inhibitor 1 (BAI1) and Noggin, increased throughout the eye with induction of PVR and disease progression. They were present on the inner surface of the retina in grades 1/2 PVR and were the largest subpopulation of cells in grades 3 to 6 ERMs. All α-SMA-positive (+) cells and all but one striated myosin+ cell expressed BAI1 in grades 1 to 6 PVR. Folds and areas of retinal detachment were overlain by Myo/Nog cells containing muscle proteins. Low numbers of CD18, CD68, and CD45+ leukocytes were detected throughout the eye. Small subpopulations of BAI1+ cells expressed leukocyte markers. ARPE-19 cells were found in the vitreous but were rare in ERMs. Pigmented cells lacking Myo/Nog and muscle cell markers were present in ERMs and abundant within the retina by grade 5/6.

CONCLUSIONS: Myo/Nog cells differentiate into myofibroblasts that appear to contract and produce retinal folds and detachment. Targeting BAI1 for Myo/Nog cell depletion may be a pharmacological approach to preventing and treating PVR.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023


  • Animals
  • Epiretinal Membrane
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Myofibroblasts
  • Proliferative
  • Retina
  • Vitreoretinopathy


  • Medicine and Health Sciences

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