Pigment dispersion syndrome can lead to pigmentary glaucoma (PG), a poorly understood condition of younger, myopic eyes with fluctuating, high intraocular pressure (IOP). The absence of a model similar in size and behavior to human eyes has made it difficult to investigate its pathogenesis. Here, we present a porcine ex vivo model that recreates the features of PG including intraocular hypertension, pigment accumulation in the trabecular meshwork and relative failure of phagocytosis. In in vitro monolayer cultures as well as in ex vivo eye perfusion cultures, we found that the trabecular meshwork (TM) cells that regulate outflow, form actin stress fibers and have a decreased phagocytosis. Gene expression microarray and pathway analysis indicated key roles of RhoA in regulating the TM cytoskeleton, motility, and phagocytosis thereby providing new targets for PG therapy.
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