Antiproliferative therapies are crucially important for improving the success rate of the glaucoma filtration surgeries. In this study, we investigated the potential efficacy of Forkhead Domain Inhibitory-6 (FDI-6) in inhibiting post-trabeculectomy subconjunctival fibrosis. In vitro, the effect of FDI-6 (10 μM) on fibrotic response and its underlying mechanism were investigated in rabbit tenon’s fibroblasts (RTFs) treated with or without transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1, 20 ng/mL). In vivo, FDI-6 (40 μM) was injected subconjunctivally to a rabbit trabeculectomy model. Intraocular pressure (IOP) changes were monitored within the 14-day period post-surgery. Bleb morphology and subepithelial fibrosis at the operating area were evaluated with slit lamp and confocal microscopic examinations and with histologic examinations. The results showed that, in cell culture studies, FDI-6 suppressed the proliferation, migration, collagen gel contraction and the expression levels of fibronectin (FN) and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) in RTFs with TGF-β treatment by down-regulating the TGF-β1/Smad2/3 signaling pathway. In animal studies, the IOPs of the FDI-6-treated group were significantly lower than those of the saline-treated group after trabeculectomy. The FDI-6-treated eyes showed a better bleb appearance with fewer blood vessels compared to the saline-treated eyes. The analysis of confocal microscopy in vivo and histopathology revealed that subconjunctival fibrosis after trabeculectomy was significantly attenuated in the FDI-6-treated group compared to the controls. In conclusion, our studies indicate that FDI-6 exerts an inhibitory effect on subconjunctival fibrosis caused by trabeculectomy, holding potentials as a new antiproliferative agent used in anti-glaucoma filtration surgeries in the future.Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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