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Lysyl oxidase-like 1 deficiency alters ultrastructural and biomechanical properties of the peripapillary sclera in mice


Wareham LKLauren K , Kuchtey JJohn , Wu HJHang-Jing , Krystofiak EEvan , Wu YYusheng , Reinhart-King CACynthia A , Kuchtey RWRachel W . Matrix biology plus. 2022 08 21; 16(). 100120


Lysyl oxidase-like 1 encoded by the gene is a member of the lysyl oxidase family of enzymes that are important in the maintenance of extracellular matrix (ECM)-rich tissue. LOXL1 is important for proper elastic fiber formation and mice lacking LOXL1 ( ) exhibit systemic elastic fiber disorders, such as pelvic organ prolapse, a phenotype associated with exfoliation syndrome (XFS) in humans. Patients with XFS have a significant risk of developing exfoliation glaucoma (XFG), a severe form of glaucoma, which is a neurodegenerative condition leading to irreversible blindness if not detected and treated in a timely fashion. Although mice have been used extensively to investigate mechanisms of pelvic organ prolapse, studies of eyes in those mice are limited and some showed inconsistent ocular phenotypes. In this study we demonstrate that mice have significant anterior segment biometric abnormalities which recapitulate some human XFS features. We then focused on the peripapillary sclera (PPS), a critical structure for maintaining optic nerve health. We discovered quantitative and qualitive changes in ultrastructure of PPS, such as reduced elastic fibers, enlarged collagen fibrils, and transformed collagen lamella organization detected by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Importantly, these changes corelate with altered tissue biomechanics detected by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) of PPS in mice. Together, our results support a crucial role for LOXL1 in ocular tissue structure and biomechanics, and mice could be a valuable resource for understanding the role of scleral tissue biomechanics in ocular disease.