In order to improve understanding of remodeling events in the glaucomatous optic nerve head, the migration of optic nerve head astrocytes was studied in vitro. Since elevated intraocular pressure is an important stress factor identified in glaucomatous eyes, optic nerve head astrocytes were incubated under physical stress created by elevated hydrostatic pressure. In addition, they were incubated in the presence of a chemical stimulus, lipolysaccharide (LPS). Migration of reactivated astrocytes in the presence of these stressors was examined using chambers in which cell migration through extracellular matrix-coated pores is only possible following proteolytic digestion of the matrix. We observed that the migratory ability of optic nerve head astrocytes was approximately 4-6 times greater following exposure to elevated hydrostatic pressure or LPS for up to 48 h. Phosphoinositide 3-kinase, protein kinase C, and tyrosine kinase were found to be involved in the signal transduction for activated migration of optic nerve head astrocytes in response to elevated hydrostatic pressure or LPS. In addition, we observed that the stress-induced migration of optic nerve head astrocytes, which is accompanied by proteolytic degradation, resulted in the formation of culture cavities containing mucopolysaccharides. These in vitro findings provide a clearer understanding of the pathophysiologic mechanisms of characteristic tissue remodeling events that occur, in vivo, in the glaucomatous optic nerve head.
- Cell migration
- Culture cavity
- Elevated hydrostatic pressure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience