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Effects of Growth Factors on Proliferation of Bovine Lens Epithelial Cells

1Kampmeier J., 2Baldysiak-Figiel A., 1Hesse Y., 1Lang G. K., 1Lang G. E.,
1Universität Ulm, Augenklinik und Poliklinik (Ulm)
2Universität Ulm, Augenklinik und Poliklinik, Augenlabor (Ulm)

Purpose: Lens epithelial cell proliferation is an important step in the pathogenesis of secondary cataract formation after extracapsular cataract extraction. This study investigates the effects of four different growth factors (bFGF, EGF, IGF-1, TGFb2) on proliferation of bovine lens epithelial cells (BLEC).
Material and methods: Confluent BLECs were cultured in serum deprived medium over 24h and, for additional 24h, in the presence of 1 to 50 ng/ml basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), or transforming growth factor-b2 (TGFb2) in serum deprived medium, containing [3H]-thymidine. In all experiments untreated serum free negative controls were used. [3H]-thymidine incorporation as a direct measure of BLEC proliferation was assessed by liquid scintillation counting. The statistical analysis was performed using the t-test.
Results: BLEC proliferation was statistically significant (p<0.05) increased by bFGF (1+10 ng/ml), EGF (5,10+20 ng/ml) and IGF-1 (1,5+10 ng/ml). In contrast, TGFb2 inhibited statistically significant the proliferation of BLEC at all concentrations < 50 ng/ml (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Our data shows that various growth factors have a concentration-dependent modulatory effect on the proliferation of bovine lens epithelial cells in vitro. The factors bFGF, EGF and IGF-1 had an stimulatory influence on BLEC proliferation, whereas TGFb2 showed an inhibitory effect on proliferation. The anti-proliferative properties of TGFb2 or the potential inhibition of the stimulatory effect of bFGF, EGF and IGF-1 could be of possible therapeutic value for prevention of postoperative secondary cataract formation.