Characterization of proteins and tissue remodeling components in porcine aqueous humor


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Virginia Tech


Connective tissue remodeling is an important area of study in biomedical engineering with respect to cancer and wound healing. Tissue remodeling components may be involved in the pathogenesis of open-angle glaucoma. Risk factors for open angle glaucoma include increased intraocular pressure (IOP), male gender, and advanced age. In a 1963 study, the hormone relaxin decreased IOP in the human eye through a mechanism that may involve the up-regulation of tissue remodeling matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). The effects of age and gender on MMP and protein activity in porcine aqueous humor were determined in this study to identify correlations existing between MMP activity and glaucoma risk factors. Gelatin zymography identified MMPs at 66 kD and approximately 105 kD. The concentration of the 66 kD band compared to human MMP-2 standard was 0.22 ± 0.06 ng/ml for the adult female (AF) samples and 0.28 ± 0.04 ng/ml for the juvenile samples. This difference in concentration was statistically significant (p < 0.05). The concentration of the protease migrating to 66 kD was statistically independent of gender. Casein zymograms identified two non-MMP proteinases at 51 kD and 80 kD. The average total protein concentration for all aqueous humor samples was 2.54 ± 0.89 mg/ml. The mean IgG, transferrin, and albumin concentrations for all aqueous humor samples was 11.4 ± 4.2 mg/ml, 17.11 ± 6.8 mg/ml, and 78.0 ± 26.3 mg/ml respectively. Results from these experiments establish baseline levels of MMP and protein activity, allowing for identification of potential changes caused by relaxin in tissue culture studies.



matrix metalloproteinase, relaxin, glaucoma, aqueous humor