Wound Healing Study

Wound Healing Study

The primary goal of this project is to understand what regulates excessive scarring after trabeculectomy surgery, a major complication that dictates the success of the surgery. Trabeculectomy, or glaucoma filtration surgery, is a surgical operation that lowers the intraocular pressure inside the eye in patients with glaucoma. This is achieved by the formation of an artificial drainage route from the anterior chamber to the subconjunctival space. Surgically, a small hole is made in the eye wall (sclera), covered by a thin “trap-door”. The aqueous humor drains through the trap-door to a small reservoir or bleb just under the eye surface, hidden by the eyelid. Excessive scarring closes the surgically generated pathway for the aqueous humor, which then leads to a reoccurrence of high intraocular pressure. Our laboratory is utilizing primary human Tenon’s capsule fibroblast cells and scleral fibroblast cells (the cells/tissues that undergo scarring post-surgery) in culture to study a novel molecular signaling pathway involving crosstalk between the TGF-beta 2 and TLR4 signaling pathways in the regulation of wound healing and scarring. Our hypothesis is inhibition of the TGFβ2-TLR4 signaling pathway will decrease scar formation after filtration surgery and maintain the reduced IOP. We will test four specific inhibitors of molecules involved in the TGF-beta 2 and TLR4 signaling pathways on cell viability, cell metabolic activity, cell proliferation, and cell migration – all important aspects of excessive fibrosis, scarring, and wound healing.

Future Directions: The Data Generated From The Fibroblasts Cells Can Be Used To Further Test Whether Inhibition Of TGFβ2-TLR4 Signaling Molecules Can Prevent Scar Formation And Maintain The Reduced IOP After Glaucoma Filtration Surgery.

-Dr. Colleen McDowell, NTERI

Colleen McDowell, PhD

Dr. McDowell conducted this study while she was an Assistant Professor at the North Texas Eye Research Institute (NTERI) in Forth Worth, Texas.

In March 2019 Dr. McDowell began her faculty appointment as a glaucoma researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, McPherson Eye Research Institute. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences.

3375 Medical Sciences Center
1300 University Ave
Madison, WI 53706

Phone: (608) 265-3996
Email: cmmcdowell@wisc.edu