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ABSTRACT: The effects of the ocular hypotensive agents prostaglandin F(2alpha) (PGF(2alpha)) and its analog latanoprost on intraocular pressure (IOP) in both animals and human have been investigated extensively in the last two decades. While there is general agreement that application of these PGs to the eye alters IOP by altering the aqueous humor outflow of the eye via the uveoscleral and trabecular meshwork pathways, the mechanism of action of these agents on IOP lowering remains unclear. There is evidence which suggests that myosin light kinase (MLC kinase) may be involved in the IOP-lowering effects of these agents. Thus, the purpose of the present work was to investigate in cat iris sphincter the effects of these PGs on the MLC kinase signaling pathway, inositol phosphates production, MLC phosphorylation and contraction, in order to gain more information about the mechanism through which these agents modulate smooth muscle function and lower IOP. [(3)H]myo-inositol phosphates production was measured by ion-exchange chromatography, MLC kinase activity was measured by incorporation of (32)Pi into MLC, and changes in muscle tension were recorded isometrically. PGF(2alpha) and latanoprost induced contraction in a concentration-dependent manner with EC(50) values of 18.6 and 29.9 nM, respectively, and increased inositol phosphates production in a concentration-dependent manner. At 1 microM, PGF(2alpha) and latanoprost increased inositol phosphates formation by 125 and 102% over basal, respectively. PGF(2alpha) and latanoprost increased MLC phosphorylation in a concentration- and time-dependent manner, at 1 microM and 5 min incubation, the PGs increased the MLC response by 181 and 176% over basal, respectively. In general, PGF(2alpha) was slightly more potent in inducing the biochemical and pharmacological responses. Wortmannin, ML-7 and ML-9, selective inhibitors of MLC kinase, inhibited significantly PGF(2alpha)- and latanoprost-induced MLC phosphorylation and contraction. These results demonstrate for the first time involvement of the MLC kinase pathway in the FP receptor function of this ocular tissue. Contraction-relaxation of smooth muscle alters the shape and stiffness of smooth muscle cells and MLC kinase, through myosin phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, has been shown to be involved in cytoskeletal remodeling, cytoskeletal alterations, and IOP lowering. In light of these reports and the findings presented here we suggest that alterations in the MLC kinase signaling pathway and its derived second messengers, which leads to changes in contraction-relaxation of the smooth muscles of the anterior segment, could facilitate aqueous humor outflow and thus contribute to the IOP-lowering effects of the FP-class PGs.
Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics 07/2003; 19(3):217-31. · 1.42 Impact Factor