Functional Implications of Cross-Linked Actin Networks in Trabecular Meshwork Cells

Laura Duffy, Steven O'Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Background/Aims: The Trabecular meshwork (TM) is the tissue responsible for outflow resistance and therefore intraocular pressure. TM cells contain a contractile apparatus that is composed of actin stress fibres which run parallel to the axis of the cell and are responsible for facilitating contraction. Cross-Linked Actin Networks (CLANs) are polygonal arrangements of actin that form a geodesic network found predominantly in TM cells both in situ and in vitro. The aim of this work is to determine the functional significance of CLANs in TM cells and to assess the effect of mechanical stretch stimulation on the induction (or not) of CLANs.

Methods: We used collagen gel contraction models to demonstrate functional impairment of cells when induced to express CLANs in situ. Cyclic mechanical stretch was used to stimulate cells and measure CLANs.

Results: CLANs inhibited contraction and cyclic mechanical stretch induced CLANs. Furthermore, we also demonstrated that using shape alone we could predict the appearance of CLANs using a simple light microscopy technique.

Conclusion: Taken together we have now shown, for the first time, a functional deficit In TM cells with CLANs Furthermore that shape alone can predict the appearance of CLAN containing cells. CLANs can now be linked to a functional effect and may underlie the appearance of CLANs with the pathology of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-794
JournalCellular Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number2
Early online date6 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


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