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Dexamethasone induced glaucoma associated features exhibited differentially in retinal ganglion cells and human trabecular meshwork cells

Authors:

N. Maurya,

School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, IN
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I. Ghosh

School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, IN
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Abstract

Several studies have reported long-term dexamethasone application to cause glaucoma, with understanding of the underlying mechanism being incomplete. As Trabecular Meshwork (TM) cells and Retinal Ganglion Cells (RGCs) are primary targets for glaucomatous induction, studying the effect of dexamethasone on these cells becomes significant. The present work used an in vitro approach where Human Trabecular Meshwork (HTM) and RGC-5 cell lines were subjected to dexamethasone treatment and analysed. This study reports differential response of both types of cells towards same dexamethasone challenge, where HTM cells exhibited altered morphology, decreased cell survival, elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) status along with increased expression of pro-apoptotic markers (p53, Bax) while RGC-5 cells did not show signs of stress prima facie. Since dexamethasone has been reported to increase intra-ocular pressure (IOP) in vivo thereby depleting nutrient supply to retinal neuronal cells, treatment of RGC-5 cells with serum free medium was performed. In this condition, RGC-5 cells exhibited glaucoma-associated stress features. Elevated expression of myocilin in both dexamethasone treated Human Trabecular Meshwork (HTM) cells and RGC-5 cells was observed. A significant upregulation of myocilin and downregulation of γ-synuclein were also observed in serum free medium treated RGC-5 cells. In conclusion, RGCs do not get affected directly by dexamethasone due to rich nutrient supply unlike HTM cells that are affected, as they exist in regions of less nutrient availability in vivo. Dexamethasone affects RGCs indirectly by depleting their nutrients. Thus, maintenance of rich nutrient supply to RGCs that are under dexamethasone administration may help prevent its damaging effect.

How to Cite: Maurya, N. and Ghosh, I., 2021. Dexamethasone induced glaucoma associated features exhibited differentially in retinal ganglion cells and human trabecular meshwork cells. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 49(2), pp.295–302. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v49i2.9636
Published on 14 Sep 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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