Fibrotic Changes to Schlemm's Canal Endothelial Cells in Glaucoma.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kelly, RA; Perkumas, KM; Campbell, M; Farrar, GJ; Stamer, WD; Humphries, P; O'Callaghan, J; O'Brien, CJ

Published Date

  • August 31, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 22 / 17

PubMed ID

  • 34502356

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8431431

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1422-0067

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3390/ijms22179446


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Switzerland