Glucocorticoid-induced cell-derived matrix modulates transforming growth factor β2 signaling in human trabecular meshwork cells

Felix Yemanyi, Janice Vranka, Vijay Krishna Raghunathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Aberrant remodeling of trabecular meshwork (TM) extracellular matrix (ECM) may induce ocular hypertensive phenotypes in human TM (hTM) cells to cause ocular hypertension, via a yet unknown mechanism. Here, we show that, in the absence of exogenous transforming growth factor-beta2 (TGFβ2), compared with control matrices (VehMs), glucocorticoid-induced cell-derived matrices (GIMs) trigger non-Smad TGFβ2 signaling in hTM cells, correlated with overexpression/activity of structural ECM genes (fibronectin, collagen IV, collagen VI, myocilin), matricellular genes (connective tissue growth factor [CTGF], secreted protein, acidic and rich in cysteine), crosslinking genes/enzymes (lysyl oxidase, lysyl oxidase-like 2–4, tissue transglutaminase-2), and ECM turnover genes/enzymes (matrix metalloproteinases-MMP2,14 and their inhibitors-TIMP2). However, in the presence of exogenous TGFβ2, VehMs and GIMs activate Smad and non-Smad TGFβ2 signaling in hTM cells, associated with overexpression of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), and differential upregulation of aforementioned ECM genes/proteins with new ones emerging (collagen-I, thrombospondin-I, plasminogen activator inhibitor, MMP1, 9, ADAMTS4, TIMP1); with GIM-TGFβ2-induced changes being mostly more pronounced. This suggests dual glaucomatous insults potentiate profibrotic signaling/phenotypes. Lastly, we demonstrate type I TGFβ receptor kinase inhibition abrogates VehM-/GIM- and/or TGFβ2-induced upregulation of α-SMA and CTGF. Collectively, pathological TM microenvironments are sufficient to elicit adverse cellular responses that may be ameliorated by targeting TGFβ2 pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15641
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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