Novel Correlation between TGF-beta1/-beta3 and Hormone Receptors in the Human Corneal Stroma




Choi, Alexander J.
Hefley, Brenna S.
Nicholas, Sarah E.
Cunningham, Rebecca L.
Karamichos, Dimitrios


0000-0002-8761-3824 (Karamichos, Dimitrios)
0000-0001-5984-5516 (Cunningham, Rebecca)

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title




This study investigated the interplay between transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta1/T1 and TGF-beta3/T3), and sex hormone receptors using our 3D in vitro cornea stroma model. Primary human corneal fibroblasts (HCFs) from healthy donors were plated in transwells at 10(6) cells/well and cultured for four weeks. HCFs were supplemented with stable vitamin C (VitC) and stimulated with T1 or T3. 3D construct proteins were analyzed for the androgen receptor (AR), progesterone receptor (PR), estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) and beta (ERbeta), luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR), follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR), gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor (GnRHR), KiSS1-derived peptide receptor (KiSS1R/GPR54), and follicle-stimulating hormone subunit beta (FSH-B). In female constructs, T1 significantly upregulated AR, PR, ERalpha, FSHR, GnRHR, and KiSS1R. In male constructs, T1 significantly downregulated FSHR and FSH-B and significantly upregulated ERalpha, ERbeta, and GnRHR. T3 caused significant upregulation in expressions PR, ERalpha, ERbeta, LHR, FSHR, and GNRHR in female constructs, and significant downregulation of AR, ERalpha, and FSHR in male constructs. Semi-quantitative Western blot findings present the interplay between sex hormone receptors and TGF-beta isoforms in the corneal stroma, which is influenced by sex as a biological variable (SABV). Additional studies are warranted to fully delineate their interactions and signaling mechanisms.



Choi, A. J., Hefley, B. S., Nicholas, S. E., Cunningham, R. L., & Karamichos, D. (2023). Novel Correlation between TGF-β1/-β3 and Hormone Receptors in the Human Corneal Stroma. International journal of molecular sciences, 24(17), 13635.


© 2023 by the authors.


Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)