Medicine & Pharmacology, Ophthalmology; pigment dispersion syndrome; pigmentary glaucoma; trabecular meshwork; phagocytosis; migration; contraction; cytoskeleton; gene microarray; Rho signaling pathway
Purpose: To investigate the effect of pigment dispersion on trabecular meshwork (TM) cells. Methods: Porcine TM cells from ab interno trabeculectomy specimens were exposed to pigment dispersion, then analyzed for changes in morphology, immunostaining, and ultrastructure. Their abilities to phagocytose, migrate, and contract were quantified. An expression microarray, using 23,937 probes, and a pathway analysis were performed. Results: TM cells readily phagocytosed pigment granules. Pigment induced stress fiber formation (pigment (P): 60.1 ± 0.3%, n = 10, control (C): 38.4 ± 2.5%, n = 11, P < 0.001) and contraction at 24 hours onward (P < 0.01). Phagocytosis declined (P: 68.7 ± 1.3%, C: 37.0 ± 1.1%, n = 3, P < 0.001) and migration was reduced after 6 hours (P: 28.0.1 ± 2.3, n = 12, C: 40.6 ± 3.3, n = 13, P < 0.01). Microarray analysis revealed that Rho, IGF-1, and TGFβ signaling cascades were central to these responses. Conclusions: TM cell exposure to pigment dispersion resulted in reduced phagocytosis and migration, as well as increased stress fiber formation and cell contraction. The Rho signaling pathway played a central and early role, suggesting that its inhibitors could be used as a specific intervention in treatment of pigmentary glaucoma.