The mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix (ECM) play an important role in maintaining cellular function and overall tissue homeostasis. Emerging evidence suggests that biomechanical modifications of the ECM may be initiators and/or drivers of disease, exemplified by increased tissue stiffness. Specific ECM cross-linking enzymes (tissue transglutaminase, lysyl oxidase, and lysyl oxidase-like 1) are expressed in the trabecular meshwork and are regulated by transforming growth factor beta (TGF-b) isoforms. As TGF-b isoforms are elevated in the aqueous humor of glaucoma patients, trabecular meshwork stiffness mediated by ECM cross-linking may be responsible for increased aqueous humor outflow resistance and elevated intraocular pressure.
- ECM cross-linking
- Exfoliation syndrome