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Mi-Lyang Kim, Kyung Rim Sung, Junki Kwon, Jin A. Shin; Statins Suppress TGF-β2-Mediated MMP-2 and MMP-9 Expression and Activation Through RhoA/ROCK Inhibition in Astrocytes of the Human Optic Nerve Head. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(5):29. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.61.5.29.
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Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are involved in extracellular matrix (ECM) maintenance and remodeling. The present study aimed to determine whether transforming growth factor (TGF)-β2 regulates MMP-2 and MMP-9 levels and activities in astrocytes derived from the optic nerve head (ONH) and the role of statins in such modulation.
Primary astrocytes cultured from the lamina cribrosa of human donor ONHs were incubated with three types of statins (5 µg/mL) for 1 hour followed by recombinant TGF-β2 (5 ng/mL) for various periods to test their effects. Levels and activities of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in astrocytes in vitro were determined by western blotting and zymography, respectively. Levels of phosphorylated myosin phosphatase target subunit 1 (MYPT1) in astrocyte lysates were determined by western blotting, and those of phosphorylated myosin light chain (MLC) were determined by western blotting and immunocytochemistry.
MMP-2 and MMP-9 levels were upregulated by TGF-β2 in human ONH astrocytes. Prior incubation with simvastatin, lovastatin, and atorvastatin inhibited TGF-β2-mediated MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression and activities. Prior incubation with statins downregulated the TGF-β2-induced phosphorylation of MYPT1 and MLC, which are downstream substrates of RhoA and ROCKs.
Statins inhibited the TGF-β2-mediated regulation of MMP-2 and MMP-9 by inhibiting the RhoA/ROCK signaling pathway. Considering the role of MMP in ECM remodeling, the present findings support the notion that statins positively impact ECM remodeling within the ONH.
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