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Nauke Zeleny, Corina Kohler, Albert Neutzner, Hanspeter E. Killer, Peter Meyer; Structural properties of meningothelial cells in the retrobulbar, mid-orbital and intracanalicular sections of the optic nerve arachnoid mater. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):4907.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Alterations of and within the optic nerve microenvironment (ONM) are most likely involved in optic nerve damage in idiopathic intracranial hypertension and normal tension glaucoma . There is increasing evidence that meningothelial cells (MECs) that cover, the arachnoid and the pia mater might be actively involved in homeostatic processes within the subarachnoid space (SAS). However, as MECs have been only poorly characterized with regards to their structural properties we assessed these cells for the presence of gap junction proteins and aquaporin 4 (AQP4) water channels.
Human meningothelial cells from the arachnoid layer were investigated for the presence of gap junction proteins and aquaporine. For this purpose the MECs were stained for tight junctions (JAM1, occluding, claudin 5), gap junctions (connexin 26 and 43) and desmosomes (desmoplakin) as well as for AQP4 water channels. The retrobulbar, mid-orbital and intracanalicular human optic nerve sections of seven patients (14 optic nerves) with no known optic nerve pathology were processed.
MECs exhibited immunopositivity for markers of tight junctions (JAM1, occluding, claudin 5) and gap junctions (connexin 26 and 43) as well as for waterchannels (AQP4). However no immunopositivity was found for desmoplakin.
Immunohistochemical analyses demonstrate that MECs from the arachnoid layer of the optic nerve express tight junctions and gap junction proteins as well as AQP4 water channels. The expression of tight and gap junction proteins confirm the barrier function previously postulated for MECs. The presence of gap-junctions suggests that MECs work together as a syncytium, thus keeping damage to individual cells in check. Furthermore, AQP4 water channels are likely involved in CSF transport through MECs. These observations provide a novel view on the structural properties of MECs and their involvement for a CSF clearing pathway from the optic nerve microenvironment.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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