SB-431542 inhibition of scar formation after filtration surgery and its potential mechanism

Yi-qin Xiao, Kun Liu, Jian-feng Shen, Guo-tong Xu, Wen Ye
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 2009, 50 (4): 1698-706

PURPOSE: To explore the inhibitive effect of SB-431542 (an ALK5 inhibitor) on scar formation after glaucoma surgery and to identify the potential pharmacologic target(s).

METHODS: Twenty-four New Zealand rabbits underwent filtration surgery on the right eye and were divided into a control group and three experimental groups (n=6). Human Tenon's fibroblast monolayer was scraped to generate a single gap, and then the control medium with SB-431542 only or containing 10 microg/L TGF-beta1 and SB-431542 (1-20 microM) was added. The cells were pretreated with SB-431542 or in control medium for 30 minutes before induction with 10 microg/L TGF-beta1 or 1 microg/L TGF-beta2. The expression of alpha-SM-actin, CTGF, and Col I, as well as changes in the Smad, ERK, P38, and AKT signaling pathways were detected.

RESULTS: In comparison with the control rabbits, the IOPs in the experimental groups remained at lower levels until day 25 (P<0.05) after the surgery. Histologic profiles showed that there was only a mild deposition of collagen in the subconjunctival space in the experimental groups. The cell growth and migration were inhibited effectively by SB-431542, regardless of whether TGF-beta was present in the culture system. SB-431542 abrogated TGF-beta-induced upregulation of alpha-SM-actin, CTGF, and Col I. It effectively inhibited the phosphorylation of Smad2 stimulated by TGF-beta but not that of the components of the MAPK pathways.

CONCLUSIONS: SB-431542 inhibits scar formation after glaucoma filtration surgery. The mechanism may be that SB-431542 interferes in the phosphorylation of Smad2, thus abrogating TGF-beta-induced fibroblast transdifferentiation and then decreasing Col I synthesis.

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