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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2019, Article ID 7604396, 11 pages
Research Article

Repressed Wnt Signaling Accelerates the Aging Process in Mouse Eyes

1School of Optometry, Indiana University, 800 East Atwater Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
2Crawley Vision Research Laboratory, Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Chia-Yang Liu; ude.ui@aihcuil and Yong Yuan;

Received 26 February 2019; Accepted 26 May 2019; Published 17 June 2019

Academic Editor: Alejandro Cerviño

Copyright © 2019 Yujin Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. Ocular aging is a natural process of functional decline in vision. When the process reaches a point that compromised vision affects normal daily activity, it manifests as age-related ocular diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and pseudoexfoliation syndrome. We previously reported that repressed Wnt signaling accelerated the maturation of corneal epithelium during tissue development. Here, we explore the hypothesis that repressed Wnt signaling is associated with accelerated aging in mouse eyes. Methods. Wnt ligand antagonist secreted frizzled-related protein 1 (sFRP1) was expressed in the corneal stroma by a tissue-specific, inducible, bitransgenic system. Tissue structure was analyzed for signs of aging. Signal transduction analysis was performed to determine the cellular response to sFRP1. Results. Mouse eyes with sFRP1 expression showed signs of accelerated aging, resembling those found in pseudoexfoliation (PEX) syndrome, a known age-related disease. Specific findings include granular deposition on the surface of the anterior lens capsule, pigment loss from the anterior surface of the iris, the presence of fibrillary material in the anterior chamber, and changes in cell size (polymegethism) and shape (pleomorphism) of the corneal endothelial cells. In vitro studies demonstrated that sFRP1 did not inhibit Wnt5a function and that cells responded to sFRP1 and Wnt5a in a very similar manner. Conclusion. The expression of sFRP1 accelerates the aging process in mouse eyes and future studies are warranted to elucidate the underlying mechanisms.