gms | German Medical Science

102. Jahrestagung der DOG

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e. V.

23. bis 26.09.2004, Berlin

Aging process is accompanied by an increase of tissue transglutaminase in human retinal pigment epithelium

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author K. Schebitz-Walter - Ophthalmology, Univeristy of Munich LMU
  • M. Stoeckelhuber - Anatomy II, Univeristy of Munich LMU
  • A. Wolf - Ophthalmology, Univeristy of Munich LMU
  • S. Priglinger - Ophthalmology, Univeristy of Munich LMU
  • K. Eibl - Ophthalmology, Univeristy of Munich LMU
  • A. Kampik - Ophthalmology, Univeristy of Munich LMU
  • U. Welge-Lüßen - Ophthalmology, Univeristy of Munich LMU

Evidenzbasierte Medizin - Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. 102. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft. Berlin, 23.-26.09.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04dogP 155

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2004

© 2004 Schebitz-Walter et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




Age-related macula degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of severe visual impairment in developed countries. The vision loss associated with AMD is the result of degenerative changes in the central region of the retina without real therapeutic approaches. Cross linking has been suggested as one of the mechanisms involved in the aging process. Among the various cross linking reactions, tissue transglutaminase II (tTG) catalyzed cross linking activity plays a role in aging. We investigated the age related expression and activity of tTG and its reaction product epsilon-gamma-glutamyl lysine (e-g) bonds.


The posterior pole of one couple of 12 eyes of human donors ranging from 18 to 80 years was preserved. Localization of tTG and its reaction product e-g was investigated immunohistochemically. The retinal pigmentepithelium (RPE) from the other 12 eyes was analyzed for tTG expression by RT-PCR and Western blot analysis.


A faint staining of tTG was observed in RPE of donors until the age of 36. The RPE of older donors showed a marked staining. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated an increase of mRNA expression in the RPE of old eyes about 3 fold. Western blot analysis showed a 4 fold expression of tTG compared to young donors. This increased activity was accompanied by an increased expression of e-g bonds in the RPE as well in Bruch´s membrane.


An increased expression and activity of tTG was demonstrated during the aging process of the RPE. These findings may play an important role in age-related diseases such as macular degeneration.