July 1998
Volume 39, Issue 8
Free
Articles  |   July 1998
Differential cataractogenic potency of TGF-beta1, -beta2, and -beta3 and their expression in the postnatal rat eye.
Author Affiliations
  • C Gordon-Thomson
    Department of Anatomy and Histology and Institute for Biomedical Research (F13), The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.
  • R U de Iongh
    Department of Anatomy and Histology and Institute for Biomedical Research (F13), The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.
  • A M Hales
    Department of Anatomy and Histology and Institute for Biomedical Research (F13), The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.
  • C G Chamberlain
    Department of Anatomy and Histology and Institute for Biomedical Research (F13), The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.
  • J W McAvoy
    Department of Anatomy and Histology and Institute for Biomedical Research (F13), The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 1998, Vol.39, 1399-1409. doi:
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      C Gordon-Thomson, R U de Iongh, A M Hales, C G Chamberlain, J W McAvoy; Differential cataractogenic potency of TGF-beta1, -beta2, and -beta3 and their expression in the postnatal rat eye.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1998;39(8):1399-1409.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

PURPOSE: Transforming growth factor-beta has been shown to induce cataractous changes in rat lenses. This study assesses the relative cataractogenic potential of TGF-beta1, TGF-beta2, and TGF-beta3 and their expression patterns in the rat eye. METHODS: Lens epithelial explants and whole lenses from weanling rats were cultured with TGF-beta1, TGF-beta2, or TGF-beta3 at concentrations ranging from 0.025 ng/ml to 4 ng/ml for 3 to 5 days. Cataractous changes were monitored daily by phase contrast microscopy and by immunofluorescent detection of cataract markers alpha-smooth muscle actin and type I collagen. Expression of TGF-beta was studied by immunofluorescence and in situ hybridization on eye sections from neonatal and weanling rats. RESULTS: All three isoforms induced morphologic changes in lens epithelial explants and cultured lenses that are typically associated with human subcapsular cataract. Transforming growth factor-beta2 and TGF-beta3 were approximately 10 times more potent than TGF-beta1. All three isoforms were expressed in the eye in spatially distinct but overlapping patterns. Transforming growth factor-beta1 and TGF-beta2 and their mRNA were detected in most ocular tissues, including the lens. Although TGF-beta3 was immunolocalized in lens epithelium and fibers and in other ocular tissues, its mRNA was detected only in the retina and choroid. CONCLUSIONS: All three isoforms of TGF-beta are potentially available to lens cells and have the potential to induce cataractous changes. The results suggest that TGF-beta activity is normally tightly regulated in the eye. Activation of TGF-beta in the lens environment, such as may occur during injury, in wound healing, or in pathologic conditions may contribute to cataractogenesis in vivo.

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