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First Author: H.Tan TAIWAN
Co Author(s): S. Lin C. Wang T. Young
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Mechanical signaling was generally accepted to be critical in tissue development and wound healing. In this work, we investigated the responses of corneal fibroblasts to cyclic stretching loads in an in vitro cell culture system.
Department of Ophthalmology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linko, Taiwan; Institute of Biomedical Engineering, College of medicine and engineering, National taiwan university, Taipei, Taiwan
Bovine corneal fibroblasts were cultured and subjected to equibiaxial cyclic strain of 15% for 72 hrs at frequency of 0.25 Hz. Bovine skin fibroblasts subjected to similar regimen of cyclic mechanical loads were paired as comparison. The cellular behaviors including morphology, metabolic and proliferative activities of corneal fibroblasts following cyclic strain were examined. The levels of gene expression for several major components in mechanotransduction and wound healing processes (type I and type III collagen, matrix metalloproteinases MMP-2 and MMP-9) were measured. And the metalloproteinase activities were also determined by zymography.
Corneal fibroblasts tended to be more resistant to change in morphology, alignment, and proliferation, under cyclic stretching load as compared with skin fibroblasts. The gene expression in corneal fibroblasts following cyclic loads was similar to that in the unstretched group; while MMP-2 and -9 activities were increased significantly in skin fibroblasts under similar cyclic loads.
Corneal fibroblasts per se were reluctant to respond to cyclic mechanical strains, which may shed light on the compliance of cornea to intraocular pressure as well as extrinsic mechanical forces, such as eye rubbing.