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Eunjoo H. Lee, Choun-Ki Joo; Role of Transforming Growth Factor-β in Transdifferentiation and Fibrosis of Lens Epithelial Cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1999;40(9):2025-2032. doi: https://doi.org/.
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purpose. To determine the levels of mRNAs encoding markers of fibrosis in lens
epithelial cells (LECs) from patients with anterior polar cataracts and
to test whether transforming growth factor (TGF)-β enhances the
expression of mRNAs for mesenchymal markers in LECs.
methods. LECs attached to the anterior capsules of patients with nuclear or
anterior polar cataracts were analyzed by reverse
transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the expression of
mRNAs encoding pathologic extracellular matrix proteins, a marker of
myofibroblast transformation, growth factors, and growth factor
receptors, and by western blot analysis for the proteins encoded by
these mRNAs. Bovine lens epithelial explants and intact rabbit lenses
cultured with or without TGF-β1 were also subjected to RT-PCR and
western blot analysis.
results. The levels of fibronectin, type I collagen, and α-smooth muscle actin
(SMA) mRNAs were higher in LECs from patients with anterior polar
cataracts than in those from patients with nuclear cataracts.
Expression of mRNAs for TGF-β1, TGF-β2, TGF-β receptor type II,
and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) was significantly greater in
anterior polar type than in nuclear type cataracts. In contrast,
expression of mRNAs for epidermal growth factor (EGF), epidermal growth
factor receptor (EGFR), fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2, and FGF
receptor-1 was similar in LECs from the two types of cataracts.
TGF-β1 markedly increased the levels of fibronectin, type I collagen,
and α-SMA mRNA in bovine lens epithelial explants and intact rabbit
conclusions. This is the first finding showing altered mRNA expression in LECs from
anterior polar cataracts. Enhanced expression of TGF-β and the
TGF-β receptor suggests that TGF-β derived from LECs may function
in an autocrine fashion as the prime mediator of transdifferentiation
and pathogenesis in human LECs. Elevated levels of CTGF mRNA suggest
that this growth factor may play a role in the increased deposition of
extracellular matrix in metaplastic LECs.
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