Investigative ophthalmology & visual science

Angiotensin II as a morphogenic cytokine stimulating fibrogenesis of human tenon's capsule fibroblasts.

PMID 25564450


To examine the expression of Angiotensin II (Ang II) and its type I, and type II receptors (AT1R, AT2R) in rabbit Tenon's capsule fibroblasts after trabeculectomy, and to investigate the effects of Ang II on cultured human Tenon's capsule fibroblasts (HTFs) proliferation, migration, phenotype transition, and extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesis. In the rabbit, expression of Ang II, AT1R, and AT2R in Tenon's capsule fibroblasts of eyes after trabeculectomy was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Ang II levels in aqueous humor and plasma were assessed by ELISA. Cultured HTFs, obtained from patients undergoing cataract surgery, were treated with Ang II, TGF-β1, or vehicle control. Cell proliferation and migration were evaluated by Cell Counting Kit-8 and Transwell assay, and wound scratch assay, respectively. Protein expressions of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and fibronectin (FN) were measured by Western blot and immunofluorescence. Messenger RNA expressions of α-SMA and FN were measured by real-time PCR. In the rabbit, the expression of Ang II and AT1R increased from 1 day after surgery while AT2R increased from 7 days. In cultured HTFs, Ang II promoted cell proliferation and migration significantly (P < 0.05). Interestingly, the effect of 10(-7) M Ang II was more prominent than higher concentrations (10(-5) M; P < 0.05). Ang II also markedly induced the expression of α-SMA and FN, suggesting a phenotypic transition to myofibroblasts. Our results show that trabeculectomy alter the levels of Ang II and its receptors in Tenon's capsule fibroblasts, and that Ang II increase HTFs proliferation, migration, and phenotype transition, suggesting that Ang II may play a role in wound healing after trabeculectomy.