Trabecular meshwork's collagen network formation is inhibited by non-pigmented ciliary epithelium-derived extracellular vesicles

J Cell Mol Med. 2021 Apr;25(7):3339-3347. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.16408. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Abstract

The present research aims to determine whether the application of non-pigmented ciliary epithelium cells derived extracellular vesicles to human trabecular meshwork cells affects the formation and secretion of collagen type I to the extracellular matrix formation. Following the extraction of non-pigmented ciliary epithelium derived extracellular vesicles by a precipitation method, their size and concentration were determined using tunable resistive pulse sensing technology. Extracellular vesicles were incubated with trabecular meshwork cells for 3 days. Morphological changes of collagen type I in the extracellular matrix of trabecular meshwork cells were visualized using confocal microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. A Sirius Red assay was used to determine the total amount of collagen. Finally, collagen type I expression levels in the extracellular matrix of trabecular meshwork cells were quantified by cell western analysis. We found that non-pigmented ciliary epithelium extracellular vesicles were very effective at preventing collagen fibres formation by the trabecular meshwork cells, and their secretion to the extracellular matrix was significantly reduced (P < .001). Morphological changes in the extracellular matrix of trabecular meshwork cells were observed. Our study indicates that non-pigmented ciliary epithelium extracellular vesicles can be used to control collagen type I fibrillogenesis in trabecular meshwork cells. These fibrils net-like structure is responsible for remodelling the extracellular matrix. Moreover, we suggest that targeting collagen type I fibril assembly may be a viable treatment for primary open-angle glaucoma abnormal matrix deposition of the extracellular matrix.

Keywords: collagen; extracellular vesicles; non-pigmented ciliary epithelium; open-angle glaucoma; trabecular meshwork.