The molecular pathophysiology of corticosteroid-induced ocular hypertension (CIH) is not well understood. To determine the biological mechanisms of CIH, this study investigated protein expression profiles of human trabecular meshwork (hTM) cells in response to dexamethasone and prednisolone treatment. Both discovery-based sequential windowed data independent acquisition of the total high-resolution mass spectra (SWATHMS) and targeted based high resolution multiple reaction monitoring (MRMHR) confirmation were applied using a hybrid quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometer. A comprehensive list of 1759 proteins (1% FDR) was generated from the hTM. Quantitative proteomics revealed 20 differentially expressed proteins (p-value ≤ 0.05 and fold-change ≥ 1.5 or ≤ 0.67) commonly induced by prednisolone and dexamethasone, both at 300 nM. These included connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and thrombospondin-1 (THBS1), two proteins previously implicated in ocular hypertension, glaucoma, and the transforming growth factor-β pathway. Their gene expressions in response to corticosteroids were further confirmed using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. Together with other novel proteins identified in the data sets, additional pathways implicated by these regulated proteins were the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-protein kinase B (Akt) signaling pathway, integrin cell surface interaction, extracellular matrix (ECM) proteoglycans, and ECM-receptor interaction. Our results indicated that an integrated platform of SWATH-MS and MRM-HR allows high throughput identification and confirmation of novel and known corticosteroid-regulated proteins in trabecular meshwork cells, demonstrating the power of this technique in extending the current understanding of the pathogenesis of CIH.
- Trabecular meshwork
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