[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Posterior capsule opacification (PCO) arises because of a persistent growth of lens epithelial cells. Cultured human lens cells residing on their native collagen capsule and maintained in serum-free medium actively grow and thus show an intrinsic capacity for regulation. In the present study, the authors investigated the role of the putative FGF autocrine system in human capsular bags.
Capsular bags were prepared from human donor eyes and maintained in a 5% CO(2) atmosphere at 35 degrees C. On-going observations were by phase-contrast microscopy. Cellular architecture was examined by fluorescence cytochemistry. De novo protein synthesis was determined by the incorporation of 35S-methionine. Basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and FGF receptor (R)-1 were detected using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) techniques. FGFR-1 inhibition was achieved using the specific antagonist SU5402.
Human lens epithelial cells can maintain metabolic activity for more than 1 year in a protein-free medium. Basic FGF was shown to be present in capsular bags throughout culture and also in capsular bags removed from donor eyes that had previously undergone cataract surgery. Furthermore, FGFR-1 was identified. Inhibition of FGFR-1 caused a significant retardation of growth on the posterior capsule. On no occasion did any treated bag reach confluence, whereas all match-paired control samples did.
The results provide evidence that FGF plays an integral role in the long-term survival and growth of human lens epithelial cells, independent of external stimuli. Inhibition of FGFR-1 by specific synthetic molecules, such as SU5402, could provide a potential therapeutic approach to resolving PCO.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lens regeneration in vivo is restricted to some urodeles only. After removal of the lens, this remarkable event is initiated from the dorsal iris. The pigmented epithelial cells from the dorsal iris dedifferentiate and subsequently transdifferentiate to form the regenerating lens. This property of the dorsal iris implies specific regulation along the dorsal-ventral axis. To date, no known genes are known to be specifically expressed in the dedifferentiating cells and to be involved in lens regeneration. In this paper, we show that FGFR-1 expression and function is correlated with the process of lens regeneration from the dorsal iris. Following lentectomy, FGFR-1 protein is specifically present in the dedifferentiating pigment epithelial cells in the dorsal iris, but is absent from the ventral iris. Subsequently, FGFR-1 protein is present throughout the process of lens regeneration and fiber differentiation. Furthermore, we show that an FGFR-1-specific inhibitor is able to inhibit the process of transdifferentiation and lens regeneration. In this sense, FGFR-1 can be regarded as the first known lens regeneration-associated factor.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During outgrowth of the developing limb, signals from the apical ectodermal ridge, such as fibroblast growth factors, are paramount for limb patterning. Similarly, fibroblast growth factor molecules and their receptors are synthesized in the wound epithelium of the regenerating limb blastema, implicating an analogous function to limb development. To address this issue further and to understand the role of fibroblast growth factor receptor signaling in limb regeneration, we have examined the expression patterns of x-fibroblast growth factor receptors-1, -2, -3, -4a, and -4b in Xenopus laevis. This amphibian model provides a system in which both regenerating (premetamorphic; tadpole or larva stage) and nonregenerating (postmetamorphic; froglet stage) hindlimbs can be studied. In premetamorphic hindlimbs (stage 53), all of the receptors were expressed in the wound epithelium and the underlying mesenchyme. In postmetamorphic limbs (stage 61), however, transcripts for x-fibroblast growth factor receptors-1 and -2 were absent from the wound epithelium. The expression results for x-fibroblast growth factor receptors-1 and -2 were corroborated at the protein level by employing specific antibodies. Thus, it appears that expression of both fibroblast growth factor receptors-1 and -2 is associated with the ability for limb regeneration. The role of these receptors in regeneration was further investigated by using specific inhibitors to fibroblast growth factor receptors during premetamorphic hindlimb regeneration. These compounds inhibited the normal limb outgrowth and resulted, in the majority of the cases, in outgrowths of cones or spikes reminiscent of growth that is seen in amputated postmetamorphic limbs. Thus, fibroblast growth factor receptors-1 and -2 expression and function should be regarded as paramount for the ability of limb regeneration in Xenopus.