Author(s): Sharma TP, Curry S, McDowell CM. Effects of toll-like receptor 4 inhibition on transforming growth factor-β2 signaling in the human trabecular meshwork. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2020 Apr;36(3):170-178. doi: 10.1089/jop.2019.0076. Epub 2019 Dec 13. PMID 31834824
Journal: Journal Of Ocular Pharmacology And Therapeutics : The Official Journal Of The Association For Ocular Pharmacology And Therapeutics, Volume 36, Issue 3, Apr 2020
Purpose: Transforming growth factor-β2 (TGFβ2) and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) crosstalk have been implicated in extracellular matrix regulation in the trabecular meshwork (TM) and ocular hypertension in mice. We investigated TLR4 expression in normal and glaucomatous human trabecular meshwork (HTM) sections and utilized a human perfusion organ culture model to determine TGFβ2-TLR4 signaling crosstalk in glaucoma. Methods: Expression of TLR4 was determined in TM of normal and glaucomatous human eyes. Anterior segments of paired human eyes were perfused at a constant flow rate (2.5 μL/min) for 4 days to acquire stable baseline intraocular pressures (IOPs). We treated paired eyes with two different treatment paradigms: (1) TGFβ2 in one eye and vehicle control in the paired eye, (2) TGFβ2 in one eye and TGFβ2 + TLR4 inhibitor TAK-242 in the paired eye. Perfusate and TM tissue were collected and analyzed for fibronectin (FN) and collagen IV (COLIV) expression. Results: We observed increased TLR4 expression in glaucomatous HTM sections compared to normal (age-matched) (P < 0.05). Significant elevation of IOP was detected in 47% of TGFβ2-treated anterior segments (P < 0.01) compared to control, and in TGFβ2 treated compared with co-treatment with TGFβ2 + TLR4 inhibitor (P < 0.0001). An increase in FN and COLIV expression was observed after TGFβ2 treatment, and inhibition of TLR4 signaling decreased TGFβ2-induced FN and COLIV expression in perfusate (P < 0.05). Conclusions: These studies identify TGFβ2-TLR4 crosstalk as a novel pathway in glaucoma. They provide a potential new target to lower IOP and explore glaucoma pathogenesis.