Oxytalan fibers are distributed in the eye and periodontal ligaments (PDL). The ciliary zonule, known as Zinn's zonule, in the eye is composed of oxytalan fibers, which are bundles of microfibrils consisting mainly of fibrillin-1 and fibrillin-2. As turnover of oxytalan fibers is slow during life, their degradation mechanism remains unclarified. This study was performed to examine degradation pattern of fibrillin-1 and fibrillin-2 by experimental MMP activation. We cultured human non-pigmented ciliary epithelial cells (HNPCEC) and PDL fibroblasts for 7 days, then treated them with concanavalin A to activate matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, and examined the degradation of fibrillin-1 and fibrillin-2 for 72 hr using immunofluorescence. At 7 days of HNPCEC culture, fibrillin-1-positive fibers were observed, some of which merged with fibrillin-2. After MMP-2 activation, fibrillin-1-positive fibers became thin and disappeared by 72 hr, while fibrillin-2-positive fibers disappeared almost completely within 24 hr. At 7 days of PDL fibroblast culture, fibrillin-1-positive fibers were mostly merged with fibrillin-2. After MMP-2 activation, fibrillin-1-positive fibers became thin by 24 hr and had almost disappeared by 48 hr, while fibrillin-2-positive fibers decreased constantly after 24 hr. A MMP-2 inhibitor completely suppressed these degradations. These results suggest that the patterns of fibrillin-1 and fibrillin-2 degradation differ between the eye and the PDL, possibly reflecting the sensitivity of fibrillin-1 and fibrillin-2 of each type of oxytalan fiber against MMP-2.
- Ciliary zonule
- Oxytalan fibers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology