Microscale analysis of the glycosaminoglycans of human trabecular meshwork: A study in perfusion cultured eyes

Douglas H. Johnson*, Paul A Knepper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and proteoglycans of the trabecular meshwork may be involved in the pathogenesis of primary open angle glaucoma and of corticosteroid-induced glaucoma. Although numerous studies of GAGs have been performed on trabecular cells in monolayer culture and in animals, few studies have examined intact human meshwork. Using a new analytic method for quantitative determination of GAGs from individual meshworks, we studied the GAGs of human trabecular meshwork in normal eyes and intact meshwork from perfusion-cultured eyes. Eyes in the culture system were treated with dexamethasone for 21 days in an attempt to create a model of steroid glaucoma. The effect of ascorbate, also known to influence GAG levels, was examined in a preliminary study. Cultured trabecular meshwork had a significant decrease in total GAG levels when compared with meshwork from normal, noncultured eyes (1.16 ± 0.54 μg/μg vs. 3.51 ± 0.57 μg/μg; p < 0.01). Ascorbate tended to cause a decrease (28%) in the total level of GAGs, although the difference was not significant. No significant difference in mean GAG levels was found between the dexamethasone-treated and fellow control eyes. Dexamethasone was associated with a large biologic variability in total GAG level (coefficient of variation 89%). In an attempt to identify individual steroid responders mixed in with a group of nonresponders, analysis of individual eyes revealed three of nine eyes to have total GAGs ⩾250% than fellow control eyes, although this variability could also be due to other causes. No consistent change in group mean intraocular pressures was found in the dexamethasone-treated eyes. Intraocular pressures were positively correlated with total GAG levels (r = 0.59; p < 0.01).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-69
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Glaucoma
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


  • Ascorbate
  • Dexamethasone
  • Glycosaminoglycan
  • Organ culture
  • Trabecular meshwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


Dive into the research topics of 'Microscale analysis of the glycosaminoglycans of human trabecular meshwork: A study in perfusion cultured eyes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this