Author(s): Thieme H, Nass JU, Nuskovski M, Bechrakis NE, Stumpff F,
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Abstract PURPOSE: The possible role of protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors in novel pressure-lowering drugs is currently under investigation. To gain further insight into regulation of contractility by PKC in trabecular meshwork (TM) and ciliary muscle (CM), the effects of various PKC inhibitors and activators were tested. METHODS: Isometric tension measurements of bovine TM and CM strips were performed. PKC was stimulated by phorbol ester and by the diacylglycerol analogue diC8. PKC blockade was accomplished using H7 and myristoilated PKC substrate (mPKC). Western blot analysis was used to identify specific PKC isoforms in human trabecular meshwork (HTM), human ciliary muscle (HCM), and bovine TM and CM. RESULTS: In tissues precontracted by carbachol PKC antagonist H7 led to a relaxation of TM (25+/-7.2 versus 100\%; n = 8) with no effect on CM. mPKC substrate selectively blocks PKC. This substance led to relaxation of TM (32.8+/-7.4 versus 100\%, n = 7), whereas CM was not affected. PMA at concentrations of 10(-6) M led to a slow contraction of both tissues that was more marked in TM. DiC8 and 4alpha-phorbol had no effect on contractility. Western blot analysis revealed expression of calcium-dependent PKC-alpha and calcium-independent PKC-epsilon isoforms in HTM and HCM. PKC-epsilon expression was more pronounced in HTM than in HCM. Similar PKC isoform expression was found in native bovine tissue. CONCLUSIONS: PKC isoforms show different tissue distributions in human and bovine TM and CM. Contractility differences exist in both tissues in response to PKC antagonists and agonists. The data indicate that PKC may be involved in regulation of aqueous humor outflow by the TM. Thus, inhibition of PKC may represent a new way of influencing outflow facility through isolated relaxation of TM.
This article was published in Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci
and referenced in Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta