Cellular fibronectin expression in human trabecular meshwork and induction by transforming growth factor-β2

Wanda E Medina-Ortiz, Ricardo Belmares, Sandra Neubauer, Robert J Wordinger, Abbot F Clark
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 2013, 54 (10): 6779-88

PURPOSE: Levels of TGF-β2 are higher in POAG aqueous humor, causing deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, including fibronectin (FN), in the glaucomatous human trabecular meshwork (HTM) that may be responsible for elevated IOP. The purpose of this study was to identify the expression of cellular FN (cFN) isoforms (EDA and EDB) in HTM cells and tissues, and to determine whether TGF-β2 can induce cFN expression and fibril formation in cultured HTM cells.

METHODS: Expression of cFN mRNA isoforms and induction by recombinant TGF-β2 (5 ng/mL) were determined by quantitative RT-PCR. The TGF-β2 induction of EDA isoform protein expression and FN fibril formation were analyzed using Western immunoblots and immunocytochemistry (ICC), respectively. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis was used to examine total FN and EDA isoform expression in normal (NTM) and glaucomatous (GTM) trabecular meshwork (TM) tissues.

RESULTS: Both cFN mRNA isoforms were expressed in cultured HTM cells and were induced by TGF-β2 after 2, 4, and 7 days (P < 0.05). Similarly, EDA isoform protein and fibril formation were increased after 4 and 7 days of TGF-β2 treatment. Finally, GTM tissues had significantly greater EDA isoform protein levels (1.7-fold, P < 0.05) compared to NTM tissues.

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that cFN isoforms are expressed and induced in HTM cells by TGF-β2. Also, increased EDA isoform protein levels were seen in GTM tissues. Our findings suggest that induction of cFN isoform expression in the TM ECM may be a novel pathologic mechanism involved in the TM changes associated with glaucoma.

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