Notch Signal Regulates Corneal Endothelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition
- 医学院－已发表论文 
Endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EnMT) is a cell transformation process involved in both morphogenesis and pathogenesis. EnMT of corneal endothelial cells happens after endothelial injury and during ex vivo culture. Previous studies have shown that the transforming growth factor-beta signaling pathway is involved in this transition. In this study, we found that rat corneal endothelial cells could spontaneously undergo EnMT during ex vivo culture. This change in rat corneal endothelial cells was associated with Notch signaling pathway activation after the first passage, which was blocked by the Notch inhibitor N-[N-(3,5-Difluorophenacetyl)-L-alanyl]-S-phenylglycine t-butyl ester (DAPT). This inhibitor also prevented transforming growth factor beta 1-, beta 2-, and beta 3-induced EnMT and reversed transformed rat corneal endothelial cells to a normal phenotype. Furthermore, DAPT treatment blocked retrocorneal membrane formation in a rat corneal endothelium damage model. Our study indicates that the Notch signaling pathway is involved in the corneal EnMT process, which may be a novel therapeutic target for treating corneal endothelial fibrogenic disorders.