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S. Sato, Y. Kawakami, J.–Y. Tsai, Y. Chen, J.–X. Ma; SMAA–GFP mice: A new tool to identify myofibroblasts in posterior capsular cataracts . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(13):356.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: Posterior capsular opacification (PCO) is the most common complication of cataract surgery. PCO also develops in secondary cataracts induced by diabetes or uveitis. The differentiation of lens epithelial cells to fibroblasts/myofibroblasts is the key process in the development of PCO. In this study, we have investigated the appearance of myofibroblasts in SMAA–GFP mice that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) under smooth muscle type α–actin (SMAA) promoter. In this particular transgenic mouse, myofibroblasts that express SMAA can be specifically identified with GFP. Methods: To develop cataract, two types of lens injuries, a small needle injury (with 27–gauge needle) and a large injury (with No. 11 scalpel), were made in SMAA–GFP mice. The injury was made only in one eye and the other eye was kept intact as control. After 1, 2, 4, 8 weeks of injury, the development of cataract and GFP expression were examined under fluorescent microscope. Lens epithelial cells were cultured in DMEM media supplemented with 10% FCS. Results: No GFP expression was detected in control lens of SMAA–GFP mice. In the lens received a needle injury, GFP–positive cells were detected only in the area of injured epithelium. No obvious cataractous changes and GFP expression was detected in the posterior region. In the lens received a large injury with scalpel, cataract quickly developed, and GFP–positive cells appeared in posterior region of the lens within 1 week after the injury. No GFP expression was detected in anterior region. Despite that no GFP expression was detected in normal lens in vivo, cultured lens epithelial cells clearly expressed GFP even under the regular culture conditions with 10% FCS. Conclusions: This confirms that endothelial cells migrate along posterior capsule and differentiate into myofibroblasts that express SMAA in injury–induced cataract. SMAA–GFP mouse can be used as a tool to specifically identify myofibroblasts in posterior capsular cataracts.
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