Background: Brimonidine is a highly selective α2 adrenergic agonist that has been widely used in anti-glaucoma eyedrops. The aim of this study was to investigate its putative anti-fibrotic role in the fibrosis caused by activated Tenon's fibroblasts. Methods: Primary cultured human Tenon's fibroblasts were exposed to 2.0 ng/mL of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) for up to 48 h. In the presence of various concentrations of brimonidine (from 0.0 to 10.0 μM), the expression levels of fibronectin, collagen types I and III, and β-actin were determined by Western immunoblots. The expression of phosphorylated SMAD2/3 (p-SMAD2/3) was then evaluated using immunofluorescence. Results: TGF-β1 significantly increased the synthesis of fibronectin and collagens in human Tenon's fibroblasts; however brimonidine treatment distinctly attenuated the TGF-β1-induced production of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. TGF-β1 also changed the cellular morphology to be plump, while brimonidine treatment returned the cells to a spindle shape, similar to control fibroblasts. Regarding p-SMAD2/3, brimonidine treatment did not show any apparent changes in its expression. Conclusions: Our data revealed that brimonidine reduces TGF-β-induced ECM synthesis in human Tenon's fibroblasts in vitro. This finding implies that topical administration of brimonidine may be helpful in reducing the fibrosis caused by the long-term use of topical anti-glaucoma medications.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (No. 2014R1A1A2057875), and by a grant from Samil Pharma. Co., Ltd. (2008) in Republic of Korea.
© 2015 Hong et al.
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