TGF-β2-mediated ocular hypertension is attenuated in SPARC-null mice. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;55(7):4084-97.Abstract.
PURPOSE: Transforming growth factor-β2 (TGF-β2) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of primary open-angle glaucoma through extracellular matrix (ECM) alteration among various mechanisms. Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) is a matricellular protein that regulates ECM within the trabecular meshwork (TM), and is highly upregulated by TGF-β2. We hypothesized that, in vivo, SPARC is a critical regulatory node in TGF-β2-mediated ocular hypertension. METHODS: Empty (Ad.empty) or TGF-β2-containing adenovirus (Ad.TGF-β2) was injected intravitreally into C57BL6-SV129 WT and SPARC-null mice. An initial study was performed to identify a stable period for IOP measurement under isoflurane. The IOP was measured before injection and every other day for two weeks using rebound tonometry. Additional mice were euthanized at peak IOP for immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: The IOP was stable under isoflurane during minutes 5 to 8. The IOP was significantly elevated in Ad.TGF-β2-injected (n = 8) versus Ad.empty-injected WT (n = 8) mice and contralateral uninjected eyes during days 4 to 11 (P < 0.03). The IOPs were not significantly elevated in Ad.TGF-β2-injected versus Ad.empty-injected SPARC-null mice. However, on day 8, the IOP of Ad.TGF-β2-injected SPARC-null eyes was elevated compared to that of contralateral uninjected eyes (P = 0.0385). Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that TGF-β2 stimulated increases in collagen IV, fibronectin, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), and SPARC in WT mice, but only PAI-1 and CTGF in SPARC-null mice (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: SPARC is essential to the regulation of TGF-β2-mediated ocular hypertension. Deletion of SPARC significantly attenuates the effects of TGF-β2 by restricting collagen IV and fibronectin expression. These data provide further evidence that SPARC may have an important role in IOP regulation and possibly glaucoma pathogenesis.