May 2008
Volume 49, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
Posterior Capsular Opacification Occurs in the Absence of Canonical TGFβ Signaling
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • L. A. Wiley
    Ophthalmology, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri
  • C. M. Garcia
    Ophthalmology, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri
  • M. Feldmeier
    Ophthalmology, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri
  • J. V. Barnett
    Medicine and Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
  • D. C. Beebe
    Ophthalmology, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  L.A. Wiley, None; C.M. Garcia, None; M. Feldmeier, None; J.V. Barnett, None; D.C. Beebe, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  NIH EYO4853 (DCB), Core Grant EYO02687, unrestricted grant from RPB, and Training Grant T32 HL007873-10 (LAW)
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2008, Vol.49, 3727. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      L. A. Wiley, C. M. Garcia, M. Feldmeier, J. V. Barnett, D. C. Beebe; Posterior Capsular Opacification Occurs in the Absence of Canonical TGFβ Signaling. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):3727. doi:

      Download citation file:

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

  • Supplements

Purpose: : Lens fibrosis (posterior capsular opacification; PCO) is common following cataract extraction and IOL implantation. The TGFβ pathway was hypothesized to play a major role in this process. We previously showed that fibrosis, as measured by the accumulation of smooth muscle α-actin (SMA), occurs in lens epithelial cells from TGβRII null mice in vivo and in vitro, suggesting that canonical TGFβ signaling contributes to, but is not required for lens fibrosis. This study evaluated the role of a non-canonical TGFβ receptor, TGFβRIII, in TGFβ signaling.

Methods: : Wild type and TGFβRII null lens epithelial cells and wild type, TGFβRII, and TGFβRIII null mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) treated with TGFβ2 were used to study TGFβ signaling. Western blotting and immunostaining for p-Smad2, Smad2, Smad4, and TGFβRIII were performed to measure the downstream effects of TGFβ2 treatment.

Results: : Treatment of wild type lens epithelial explants with TGFβ2 increased the levels of p-Smad2 and promoted the nuclear localization of p-Smad2 and Smad4. Similar treatment of cells lacking TGFbRII caused the disappearance of Smad4 and abolished the low, basal levels of p-Smad2. The basal level of p-Smad2 was also decreased in TGFbRII null MEFs, even at low picomolar doses of TGFb2 . These results were confirmed by immunofluorescence with antibodies against p-Smad2. Time course studies showed that the decrease in p-Smad2 levels began 15 min after TGFb2 exposure. Elimination of canonical TGFb signaling by deletion of TGFbRII caused an increase in TGFbRIII protein levels.

Conclusions: : Signaling through TGFβRIII is unlikely to account for the fibrosis of lens epithelial cells seen in the absence of TGFβRII. Future experiments will address the mechanisms by which TGFβRIII signaling suppresses Smad2 phosphorylation and nuclear localization and determine the effect on SMA accumulation. Elucidation of how TGFβRIII antagonizes canonical Smad signaling could provide new avenues for the prevention of PCO.

Keywords: posterior capsular opacification (PCO) • cataract • signal transduction 

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.