Transforming Growth Factor Beta 3 Modifies Mechanics and Composition of Extracellular Matrix Deposited by Human Trabecular Meshwork Cells

Vijay Krishna Raghunathan, Joshua T. Morgan, Yow Ren Chang, Darren Weber, Brett Phinney, Christopher J Murphy, Paul Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Pseudoexfoliation syndrome is a systemic disorder of the extracellular matrix (ECM) with ocular manifestations in the form of chronic open angle glaucoma. Elevated levels of TGFβ3 in the aqueous humor of individuals with pseudoexfoliation glaucoma (PEX) have been reported. The influence of TGFβ3 on the biochemical composition and biomechanics of ECM of human trabecular meshwork (HTM) cells was investigated. HTM cells from eye bank donor eyes were isolated, plated on aminosilane functionalized glass substrates and cultured in the presence or absence of 1 ng/mL TGFβ3 for 4 weeks. After incubation, samples were decellularized and decellularization was verified by immunostaining. The mechanics of the remaining ECM that was deposited by the treated or the control cells were measured by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Imaged by AFM, the surface features of the ECM from both sets of samples had a similar roughness/topography (as determined by RMS values) suggesting surface features of the ECM were similar in both cases; however, the ECM from the HTM cells treated with TGFβ3 was between 3- and 5-fold stiffer than that produced by the control HTM cells. Proteins present in the ECM were solubilized and analyzed using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectroscopy (LC-MS/MS). Data indicate that multiple proteins previously reported to be altered in glaucoma were changed in the ECM as a result of the presence of TGFβ3, including inhibitors of the BMP and Wnt signaling pathways. Gremlin1and 4, SERPINE1 and 2, periostin, secreted frizzled related protein (SFRP) 1 and 4, and ANGPTL4 were among those proteins that were overexpressed in the ECM after TGFβ3 treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-118
Number of pages9
JournalACS Biomaterial Science and Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 9 2015


  • atomic force microscopy
  • biomechanics
  • extracellular matrix
  • glaucoma
  • pseudoexfoliation syndrome
  • trabecular meshwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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