Zinc Oxide Tetrapods Modulate Wound Healing and Cytokine Release In Vitro—A New Antiproliferative Substance in Glaucoma Filtering Surgery

Svenja Rebecca Sonntag*, Stefanie Gniesmer, Anna Gapeeva, Rainer Adelung, Ala Cojocaru, Yogendra Kumar Mishra, Sören Kaps, Aysegül Tura, Swaantje Grisanti, Salvatore Grisanti, Khaled Nassar

*Corresponding author for this work
3 Citations (Scopus)


Glaucoma filtering surgery is applied to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) in cases of uncontrolled glaucoma. However, postoperative fibrosis reduces the long-term success of both standard trabeculectomy and microstents. The aim of this study was to test the antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory potential of ZnO-tetrapods (ZnO-T) on human Tenon’s fibroblasts (HTFs) for glaucoma surgery. The toxicity of ZnO-T on HTFs was determined using an MTT test. For analysis of fibroblast proliferation, migration, and transdifferentiation, cultures were stained for Ki67, alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), and p-SMAD. A fully quantitative multiplex ELISA was used to determine the concentrations of different cytokines, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) in culture supernatants with and without previous ZnO-T treatment. Treatment with higher concentrations (10 and 20 µg/mL) was associated with HTF toxicity, as shown in the wound healing assay. Furthermore, the number of Ki67, α-SMA-positive, and pSMAD-positive cells, as well as IL-6 and HGF in supernatants, were significantly reduced following incubation with ZnO-T. In conclusion, we were able to show the antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory potentials of ZnO-T. Therefore, the use of ZnO-T may provide a new approach to reducing postoperative fibrosis in glaucoma filtering surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1691
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 11.2022

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 206-11 Ophthalmology

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