The Inhibitory Effect of Connective Tissue Growth Factor Antibody on Postoperative Fibrosis in a Rabbit Model of Trabeculectomy

Kiana Hassanpour, Mozhgan Rezaei, Narsis Daftarian, Azadeh Samaeili, Fatemeh Suri, Mohammad Pakravan, Azadeh Doozandeh, Sasha Afsar Aski, Maryam Fakhri, Afrooz Moghaddasi, Hamid Ahmadieh, Hamed Esfandiari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare the efficacy of subconjunctival injection of an anti-connective tissue growth factor antibody (anti-CTGF) versus mitomycin-C (MMC) and placebo in reducing scar formation in a rabbit model of trabeculectomy. Methods: A total of 14 rabbits were included. Nine rabbits underwent trabeculectomy with subconjunctival injections of either anti-CTGF antibody, MMC, or balanced salt solution (BSS), each administered in three eyes, before peritomy. The anti-CTGF group received a repeated dose of the antibody five days after surgery. All nine rabbits were euthanized on day 14; the globes were stained with hematoxylin & eosin, Masson’s Trichrome, and immunohistochemistry for detecting alpha-smooth muscle (α-SMA) actin. RNA extraction was performed on five eyes of the remaining rabbits which included one eye without any surgery, one eye 5 hr after trabeculectomy without any injection, one eye five days after trabeculectomy without any injection, and two eyes five days after trabeculectomy with administration of MMC and BSS, respectively. Results: The mean bleb area in the anti-CTGF, MMC, and control groups was 3.8 ± 1.45, 5.9 ± 1.4, and 3.5 ± 1.9 mm2, respectively. Collagenous tissue was found to occupy the bleb area by 13.7%, 13.5%, and 18.5%, respectively. This ratio was significantly higher in the BSS group (P = 0.04). The expression of CTGF mRNA after 5 hr and five days in eyes undergoing trabeculectomy were significantly more pronounced as compared to the unoperated eye. The mean H-SCORE of α-SMA-immune reactive cells calculated as the grade of staining multiplied by the percentage of immune stained cells was 14.6, 10.22, and 140.58 in the anti-CTGF, MMC, and control groups, respectively. While the control eyes had a significantly higher score (Ps < 0.001), the anti-CTGF and MMC groups were comparable (P = 0.87). Conclusion: Based on the results of this animal study, the anti-CTGF antibody injection resulted in a significant reduction in collagenous tissue and myofibroblast cells after trabeculectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-496
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Ophthalmic and Vision Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-connective Tissue Growth Factor
  • CTGF
  • Mitomycin-C
  • Trabeculectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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