Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Vis. 2010 Sep 16;16:1880-92.

Suppression of transforming growth factor-β effects in rabbit subconjunctival fibroblasts by activin receptor-like kinase 5 inhibitor.

Author information

  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Summa Health System, Akron, OH, USA.



Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) activity has been implicated in subconjunctival scarring in eyes following glaucoma filtration surgery (GFS). The purpose of this study is to determine whether an inhibitor for activin receptor-like kinase (ALK) 5 (also known as TGF-β receptor type I) could suppress TGF-β activity and thereby promote filtering bleb survival after GFS in a rabbit model.


An ALK-5 inhibitor, SB-505124, was used. A docking study was performed to investigate the interaction between the inhibitor and the receptor. Immunofluorescence for connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) was performed in cultured rabbit subconjunctival fibroblasts. Immunoblotting for phosphorylated Smad2 (pSmad2), CTGF, and α-SMA was also performed. In an in vivo rabbit GFS model, SB-505124 was delivered in a lactose tablet during surgery. Eyes were examined by slit-lamp and intraocular pressure (IOP) was measured until the time of bleb failure or up to 28 days after surgery. Tissue sections on day 5 after surgery were histologically evaluated after staining with hematoxylin and eosin. The sections were also immunostained for CTGF and α-SMA. In addition, cell outgrowth from dissected subconjunctival tissues placed in a cell culture flask with media was investigated.


The docking study indicated hydrogen bond interactions between SB-505124 and amino acids His-283 and Ser-280 of ALK-5. Suppression of pSmad2, CTGF, and α-SMA by SB-505124 was observed in cultured fibroblasts. Filtering blebs in the GFS with SB-505124 group were maintained for more than 10 days, and the period of bleb survival was significantly longer than that in controls. IOP levels after surgery seemed to be related to bleb survival. Histologically, subconjunctival cell infiltration and scarring at the surgical site in the GFS with SB-505124 and mitomycin C (MMC) groups were much subsided compared to controls. Suppression of CTGF and α-SMA by SB-505124 was also observed by immunofluorescence. Cell outgrowth from explants dissected from eyes to which SB-505124 was applied during GFS was robust while outgrowth was poor from those treated with MMC.


The ALK-5 inhibitor SB-505124 was efficacious both in vitro and in vivo in suppressing the TGF-β action. The inhibitor may provide a novel therapy for preventing ocular inflammation and scarring.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Molecular Vision Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center