Electrophysiological Properties of Cultured Human Trabecular Meshwork Cells

Albrecht Lepple-Wienhues, Rolf Rauch, Abbot F. Clark, Adolf Grássmann, Susanne Berweck, Michael Wiederholt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Previous studies using cultured bovine trabecular meshwork cells demonstrated at least two different cell types which were distinguishable morphologically and electrophysiologically. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the electrical membrane properties of cultured human trabecular meshwork cells. Seven different human trabecular meshwork cell lines were grown from four different donors. One trabecular meshwork cell line was transformed by microinjection with SV40 DNA. The electrochemical properties of these TM cells were determined by micropuncture with glass microelectrodes. The mean membrane voltage at resting conditions differed between the cell lines (- 33·3 to - 58·7 mV). Application of 10-mmol l-1 Ba2+ induced repetitive voltage spikes in all cell lines. The voltage transients similar to action potentials were inhibited by nifedipine, but insensitive to tetrodotoxin. Acetylcholine evoked depolarizations in three cell lines which were blocked by atropine. In one cell line isoproterenol caused sustained depolarizations sensitive to metipranolol. All three of the cell lines tested depolarized upon application of the vasoactive peptide endothelin-1. All untransformed cell lines showed voltage spikes typical for smooth muscle cells and functional receptors for endothelin-1 and cholinergic agonists. One out of three cell lines tested possessed β-adrenergic receptors influencing the membrane voltage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental eye research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1994


  • acetylcholine
  • aqueous humour outflow
  • endothelin
  • human trabecular meshwork
  • isoproterenol
  • membrane voltage


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