It has been suggested that common mechanisms may underlie the pathogenesis of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and steroid-induced glaucoma (SIG). The biomechanical properties (stiffness) of the trabecular meshwork (TM) have been shown to differ between POAG patients and unaffected individuals. While features such as ocular hypertension and increased outflow resistance in POAG and SIG have been replicated in mouse models, whether changes of TM stiffness contributes to altered IOP homeostasis remains unknown. We found that outer TM was stiffer than the inner TM and, there was a significant positive correlation between outflow resistance and TM stiffness in mice where conditions are well controlled. This suggests that TM stiffness is intimately involved in establishing outflow resistance, motivating further studies to investigate factors underlying TM biomechanical property regulation. Such factors may play a role in the pathophysiology of ocular hypertension. Additionally, this finding may imply that manipulating TM may be a promising approach to restore normal outflow dynamics in glaucoma. Further, novel technologies are being developed to measure ocular tissue stiffness in situ. Thus, the changes of TM stiffness might be a surrogate marker to help in diagnosing altered conventional outflow pathway function if those technologies could be adapted to TM.
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