Dexamethasone (DEX) is a glucocorticoid commonly used in topical eyedrops to treat eye inflammation. It has an undesirable effect of inducing glaucoma in certain patients. In human Trabecular Meshwork (TM) cells DEX regulates a number of genes but its global influence on TM gene expression is still elusive. In the present work, DEX effects on global gene expressions of an established human TM cell line were studied by microarray.
The whole experiment of microarray was repeated three times. Differentially expressed genes were identified by an empirical Bayes approach and confirmed by Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction.
Eight genes (GAS1, CDH4, MT1L, CST3, ATF4, ASNS/TS11, CHOP, HSPA5) were identified that are at least a thousand times more likely to be differentially expressed due to DEX treatment and six genes (TSC22, LDHA, IGFBP2, TAGLN, SCG2, WARS) were identified that are at least a hundred times more likely to be differentially expressed due to DEX treatment. Except for MT1L, ASNS/TS11, IGFBP2, SCG2, and WARS, all the other genes are first reported here to be regulated by DEX in TM. Intriguingly, several of them have overlapping roles in anti-inflammatory response and outflow resistance.
The results of our experiments on cultured human TM cells indicate that the increase in outflow resistance and ultimate ocular hypertension may be byproducts of the favorable anti-inflammatory response triggered by DEX.