Fibronectin extra domain A (FN-EDA) causes glaucomatous trabecular meshwork, retina, and optic nerve damage in mice




Mavlyutov, Timur A.
Myrah, Justin J.
Chauhan, Anil K.
Liu, Yang
McDowell, Colleen M.


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BioMed Central Ltd.


BACKGROUND: Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is a major risk factor for the development and progression of primary open angle glaucoma and is due to trabecular meshwork (TM) damage. Here, we investigate the role of an endogenous Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) ligand, FN-EDA, in the development of glaucoma utilizing a transgenic mouse strain (B6.EDA(+/+)) that constitutively expresses only FN containing the EDA isoform. METHODS: Eyes from C57BL6/J (wild-type), B6.EDA+/+ (constitutively active EDA), B6.EDA-/- (EDA null) mice were processed for electron microscopy and consecutive images of the entire length of the TM and Schlemm's canal (SC) from anterior to posterior were collected and montaged into a single image. ECM accumulation, basement membrane length, and size and number of giant vacuoles were quantified by ImageJ analysis. Tlr4 and Iba1 expression in the TM and ONH cells was conducted using RNAscope in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry protocols. IOP was measured using a rebound tonometer, ON damage assessed by PPD stain, and RGC loss quantified in RBPMS labeled retina flat mounts. RESULTS: Ultrastructure analyses show the TM of B6.EDA(+/+) mice have significantly increased accumulation of ECM between TM beams with few empty spaces compared to C57BL/6 J mice (p < 0.05). SC basement membrane is thicker and more continuous in B6.EDA(+/+) mice compared to C57BL/6 J. No significant structural differences are detected in the TM of EDA null mice. Tlr4 and Iba1 expression is increased in the TM of B6.EDA(+/+) mice compared to C57BL/6 J eyes (p < 0.05). IOP is significantly higher in B6.EDA(+/+) mice compared to C57BL/6 J eyes (p < 0.001), and significant ON damage (p < 0.001) and RGC loss (p < 0.05) detected at 1 year of age. Tlr4 mRNA is expressed in mouse ONH cells, and is present in ganglion cell axons, microglia, and astrocytes. There is a significant increase in the area occupied by Iba-1 positive microglia cells in the ONH of B6.EDA(+/+) mice compared to C57BL/6 J control eyes (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: B6.EDA(+/+) mice have increased ECM accumulation in the TM, elevated IOP, enhanced proinflammatory changes in the ONH, loss of RGCs, and ONH damage. These data suggest B6.EDA(+/+) mice recapitulate many aspects of glaucomatous damage.



Mavlyutov, T. A., Myrah, J. J., Chauhan, A. K., Liu, Y., & McDowell, C. M. (2022). Fibronectin extra domain A (FN-EDA) causes glaucomatous trabecular meshwork, retina, and optic nerve damage in mice. Cell & bioscience, 12(1), 72.


© The Author(s) 2022.


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