Increased expression of serum amyloid A in glaucoma and its effect on intraocular pressure

Wan Heng Wang, Loretta G. McNatt, Iok Hou Pang, Peggy E. Hellberg, John H. Fingert, Mitchell D. McCartney, Abbot F. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Purpose. To search for and validate potential molecular pathogenic mechanisms in the trabecular meshwork (TM) responsible for the elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) associated with glaucoma. Methods. Gene chip arrays were used to identify differential gene expression in glaucomatous TM tissues. Serum amyloid A (SAA) upregulation was subsequently confirmed with quantitative PCR (QPCR) and ELISA. The effect of SAA on gene expression of cultured human TM cells was tested with gene chip arrays and verified with ELISA, and its effect on IOP was evaluated in the human ocular perfusion organ culture. Results. Microarray analysis showed that the expression of SAA2 was increased in TM tissues from donors with glaucoma. This finding was subsequently confirmed by QPCR. The SAA mRNA levels were increased in glaucoma TM tissues by more than 5-fold (P < 0.05) and in cultured TM cells derived from donors with glaucoma by 25-fold (P < 0.05) compared with controls. SAA protein levels in the TM of glaucoma patients were also significantly (P < 0.05) elevated by 2.9-fold. Treatment of cultured human TM cells with recombinant SAA affected gene expression, including a 22-fold up-regulation of interleukin-8 (P < 0.001). SAA increased IOP by approximately 40% (P < 0.05) in the human ocular perfusion organ culture without any observable changes in the morphology of the tissues involved in aqueous outflow. Conclusions. These findings indicate that SAA, which is an acute-phase apolipoprotein that plays important roles in infection, inflammation, and tissue repair, may contribute to the pathogenic changes to the TM in glaucoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1916-1923
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2008


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