June 2021
Volume 62, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2021
Eph-ephrin signaling plays a role in fiber cell alignment and influences lens shape and resilience
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Catherine Cheng
    School of Optometry, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Catherine Cheng, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  NEI Grant EY032056
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2021, Vol.62, 2087. doi:
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      Catherine Cheng; Eph-ephrin signaling plays a role in fiber cell alignment and influences lens shape and resilience. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(8):2087.

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

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Purpose : Eph-ephrin bidirectional signaling is essential for lens transparency. Our studies in mouse lenses demonstrate that the ephrin-A5 ligand and the EphA2 receptor are needed for normal lens epithelial cells. Loss of EphA2 leads to disorganized lens fiber cells. We determined whether EphA2 and ephrin-A5 are important for lens biomechanical properties and morphometrics.

Methods : We used tissue mechanical testing and confocal microscopy to examine mouse lenses with genetic disruption of EphA2 or ephrin-A5.

Results : Biomechanical testing revealed no change in the stiffness of EphA2(-/-) and ephrin-A5(-/-) lenses compared to littermate controls. However, knockout lenses were more resilient and recovered almost completely after load removal. Morphometric analysis revealed that while there is no change in the overall lens volume, there is a decrease in lens aspect ratio (equatorial/axial diameter) in both knockout lenses. Confocal microscopy and quantitative image analysis from live lenses before, during and after compression revealed that knockout lenses had misaligned Y-sutures leading to a change in force distribution during compression. Knockout lenses displayed decreased separation of fiber cell tips at high loads and had more complete recovery after load removal, which leads to improved whole-lens resiliency. Further analysis revealed misalignment of the fiber cells tips and the lens suture between each shell of newly added fiber cells.

Conclusions : In summary, disruption of Eph-ephrin signaling in the lens leads to changes in resilience and lens shape. Since EphA2(-/-) lenses with disorganized fiber have no obvious change in lens stiffness, the data suggests that hexagonal fiber cell shape and organized packing are not required for normal lens stiffness. Interestingly, EphA2 and ephrin-A5 are needed for normal patterning of lens fiber cells tips and the formation of a well-aligned Y-suture with fiber tips stacked on top of previous generations of fiber cells. The data suggests that alignment of the Y-suture may affect the overall elasticity and resilience of the lens.

This is a 2021 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.


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