Thrombospondin 1, thrombospondin 2 and the eye

Paul Hiscott, Luminita Paraoan, Anshoo Choudhary, Jose L Ordonez, Ayman Al-Khaier, David J Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Thrombospondin 1 and thrombospondin 2 (TSP1 and TSP2), which comprise the subgroup A thrombospondins, are matricellular proteins. As matricellular proteins, they modulate interactions between cells and the cellular environment, regulate cell adhesion and typically are expressed during tissue formative processes. In general, TSP1 and TSP2 counter angiogenesis (including tumour angiogenesis) and play important but contrasting roles during cutaneous repair. The two proteins are involved in development, including that of the eye, although evidence suggests that they have their greatest impact during tissue production in the adult. In the normal adult eye, they tend to be found at sites of ongoing matrix synthesis or cell-matrix interactions. At these sites, the two proteins possibly influence cellular differentiation and/or basement membrane deposition. TSP1 is also present in the intraocular fluids and drainage pathway, where it may function in maintaining the anti-angiogenic environment and in intraocular pressure control, respectively. TSP1 could also be involved in ocular immune privilege. Unlike in skin wounds, where TSP1 is derived from the blood and is present only in the early phases of repair, ocular tissue damage appears to lead to protacted TSP1 synthesis by local cells. This response might help suppress angiogenesis in the transparent tissues of the eye and so lessen visual axis opacification following injury. However, TSP2, which is also produced by damaged ophthalmic tissue and may be especially important in matrix organisation, seems to augment contraction in anomalous intraocular fibrosis. Elucidating the roles of TSP1 and TSP2 in ocular physiology and pathobiology may lead to improved therapies for neovascular, neoplastic, reparative and other ophthalmic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalProgress in Retinal and Eye Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


  • Animals
  • Eye/metabolism
  • Eye Diseases/physiopathology
  • Eye Proteins/physiology
  • Humans
  • Ocular Physiological Phenomena
  • Thrombospondin 1/physiology
  • Thrombospondins/physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Thrombospondin 1, thrombospondin 2 and the eye'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this