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Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) is an age-related disease whereby progressive loss of corneal endothelial cells (CEnCs) leads to loss of vision. There is currently a lack of therapeutic interventions as the etiology of the disease is complex, with both genetic and environmental factors. In this study, we have provided further insights into the pathogenesis of the disease, showing a causal relationship between senescence and endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) using in vitro and in vivo models. Ultraviolet A (UVA) light induced EMT and senescence in CEnCs. Senescent cells were arrested in G2/M phase of the cell cycle and responsible for the resulting profibrotic phenotype. Inhibiting ATR signaling and subsequently preventing G2/M arrest attenuated EMT. In vivo, UVA irradiation induced cell cycle re-entry in post mitotic CEnCs, resulting in senescence and fibrosis at 1- and 2-weeks post-UVA. Selectively eliminating senescent cells using the senolytic cocktail of dasatinib and quercetin attenuated UVA-induced fibrosis, highlighting the potential for a new therapeutic intervention for FECD. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Citation

Tomas L White, Neha Deshpande, Varun Kumar, Alex G Gauthier, Ula V Jurkunas. Cell cycle re-entry and arrest in G2/M phase induces senescence and fibrosis in Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy. Free radical biology & medicine. 2021 Feb 20;164:34-43


PMID: 33418109

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