The lamina cribrosa (LC) in glaucoma is with augmented production of extracellular matrix proteins (ECM) and connective tissue fibrosis. Fundamental pathological mechanisms for this fibrosis comprise fibrotic growth factors and oxidative stress. Transient receptor potential canonical channels (TRPC) channels play a key role in ECM fibrosis. Here, we study TRPC expression in glaucomatous LC cells, and investigate the role of TRPC in oxidative stress induced-profibrotic ECM gene transcription and cell proliferation in normal LC cells. Age-matched human LC cells (normal, n = 3 donors; glaucoma, n = 3 donors) were used. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2, 100 μM), was used to induce oxidative stress in LC cells in the presence or absence of the pan TRPC inhibitor SKF96365 (10 μM) or knockdown of TRPC1/6 with siRNA. After treatments, ECM gene transcription, LC cell viability and proliferation and the phosphorylation of the transcription factor NFATc3, were measured using real time RT-PCR, colorimetric cell counting with the methyl-thiazolyl tetrazolium salt (MTS) assay, and Western immunoblotting, respectively. Results showed that TRPC1/C6 transcript and protein expression levels were significantly (p < 0.05) enhanced in glaucoma LC cells. Both SKF96365 and siRNA-TRPC1/C6 treatments significantly reduced the oxidative stress induced-ECM gene expression (transforming growth factor-β1 (TGFβ1), alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), and collagen type 1A1 (Col1A1)), and cell proliferation in normal and glaucoma LC cells. Also, SKF96365 treatment inhibited the H2O2-induced NFATc3 protein dephosphorylation in LC cells. In conclusion, TRPC1/C6 expression is enhanced in glaucoma LC cells. These channels may contribute to oxidative stress-induced ECM gene transcription and cell proliferation in normal and glaucoma LC cells through Ca2+-NFATc3 signaling pathway mechanism. TRPC1 and TRPC6 channels could be important therapeutic targets to prevent ECM remodeling and fibrosis development in glaucoma optic neuropathy.
- Lamina cribrosa
- TRPC channels