Fibrotic Changes to Schlemm's Canal Endothelial Cells in Glaucoma.
Previous studies have shown that glaucomatous Schlemm's canal endothelial cells (gSCECs) are stiffer and associated with reduced porosity and increased extracellular matrix (ECM) material compared to SCECs from healthy individuals. We hypothesised that Schlemm's canal (SC) cell stiffening was a function of fibrotic changes occurring at the inner wall of SC in glaucoma. This study was performed in primary cell cultures isolated from the SC lumen of human donor eyes. RNA and protein quantification of both fibrotic and endothelial cell markers was carried out on both healthy and gSCECs. Functional assays to assess cell density, size, migration, proliferation, and mitochondrial function of these cells were also carried out. Indeed, we found that gSCECs deviate from typical endothelial cell characteristics and exhibit a more fibrotic phenotype. For example, gSCECs expressed significantly higher protein levels of the fibrotic markers α-SMA, collagen I-α1, and fibronectin, as well as significantly increased protein expression of TGFβ-2, the main driver of fibrosis, compared to healthy SCECs. Interestingly, we observed a significant increase in protein expression of endothelial marker VE-cadherin in gSCECs, compared to healthy SCECs. gSCECs also appeared to be significantly larger, and surprisingly proliferate and migrate at a significantly higher rate, as well as showing significantly reduced mitochondrial activity, compared to healthy SCECs.
Kelly, RA; Perkumas, KM; Campbell, M; Farrar, GJ; Stamer, WD; Humphries, P; O'Callaghan, J; O'Brien, CJ
Volume / Issue
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)