Regulation of gelatinase B production in corneal cells is independent of autocrine IL-1alpha.
PURPOSE: The matrix metalloproteinase gelatinase B is synthesized by cells at the leading edge of the corneal epithelium migrating to heal a wound. Recent data from the authors' laboratory suggest that excessive synthesis contributes to repair defects. The goal of the study reported here was to investigate mechanisms controlling gelatinase B production by corneal epithelial cells. METHODS: Freshly isolated cultures of corneal epithelial cells and early passage stromal fibroblasts from rabbit were used for these studies. RESULTS: In a previous study, it was found that the cytokine interleukin (IL)-1alpha is released into the culture medium of corneal epithelial cells more efficiently when they are plated at low density with limited cell-cell contact than when plated at high density. In this study, we show that production of gelatinase B by these cells is similarly affected by cell plating density. However, it is further demonstrated that these two events are not dependent on one another but occur in parallel: IL-1alpha does not regulate gelatinase B production (synthesis), nor was there evidence that any other secreted autocrine cytokine acts as mediator. Instead, our data suggest that gelatinase B production is downregulated directly by high cell density and indicate a connection to the level of protein kinase C activity. Nevertheless, the anticancer agent suramin, which blocks collagenase synthesis by interfering with autocrine cytokine-receptor interactions, still inhibits synthesis of gelatinase B. CONCLUSIONS: Unlike collagenase synthesis by corneal stromal fibroblasts, production (synthesis) of gelatinase B does not appear to be controlled by secreted autocrine cytokines but can still be inhibited by suramin. Suramin may make an effective therapeutic agent for controlling pathologic overproduction of gelatinase B in corneal ulcers. (+info)
Human corneal ablation threshold using the 193-nm ArF excimer laser.
PURPOSE: To determine the human corneal threshold ablation energy density for the 193-nm ArF excimer laser, approximating clinical conditions. METHODS: The VISX Star (Santa Clara, CA) 193-nm argon fluoride excimer laser was used to ablate the cornea in human eye bank eyes under clinical conditions. Corneas were exposed to energy densities of 10, 20, 30, 35, 40, 45, and 140 to 160 mJ/cm2. Corneas were fixed for light and transmission electron microscopy immediately after laser exposure. RESULTS: Different ablation thresholds for various corneal structural elements were observed. The ablation threshold for the collagen in the corneal stroma was determined to be 30 mJ/cm2. Keratocytes had ablation thresholds of 40 mJ/cm2. These different ablation thresholds accounted for the production of stromal peaks and valleys, with the keratocytes atop the peaks. CONCLUSIONS: Different corneal structural elements have different ablation threshold energy densities. (+info)
Differential inhibition of collagenase and interleukin-1alpha gene expression in cultured corneal fibroblasts by TGF-beta, dexamethasone, and retinoic acid.
PURPOSE: Expression of the genes for collagenase and interleukin-1alpha (IL-1alpha) are induced as stromal cells become activated to the repair fibroblast phenotype after injury to the cornea. This investigation examines the mechanisms whereby expression of these genes is inhibited by transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), dexamethasone (DEX), or retinoic acid (RET A). METHODS: A model of freshly isolated cultures of corneal stromal cells and early passage cultures of corneal fibroblasts was used in these studies. This model reproduces the events of stromal cell activation in the corneal wound. RESULTS: In early passage cultures of corneal fibroblasts, expression of collagenase is under obligatory control by autocrine IL-1alpha. IL-1alpha controls its own expression through an autocrine feedback loop that is dependent on transcription factor NF-kappaB. TGF-beta, DEX, and RET A were each effective inhibitors of collagenase gene expression in these cells. Furthermore, these agents have the capacity to inhibit expression of IL-1alpha and this was correlated with their ability to affect DNA-binding activity of NF-kappaB. However, TGF-beta, DEX, and RET A were also effective inhibitors of the low level of collagenase expressed by freshly isolated corneal stromal cells that cannot express IL-1alpha. CONCLUSIONS: In cells with an active IL-1alpha autocrine loop there are at least two distinct signaling pathways by which collagenase gene expression can be modulated. The results of this study demonstrate that TGF-beta, DEX, and RET A differentially inhibit collagenase and IL-1alpha gene expression. This information will be useful in the design of therapeutic modalities for fibrotic disease in the cornea and other parts of the eye. (+info)
A new surgical technique for deep stromal, anterior lamellar keratoplasty.
AIMS: To describe a new surgical technique for deep stromal anterior lamellar keratoplasty. METHODS: In eye bank eyes and sighted human eyes, aqueous was exchanged by air, to visualise the posterior corneal surface--that is, the "air to endothelium" interface. Through a 5.0 mm scleral incision, a deep stromal pocket was created across the cornea, using the air to endothelium interface as a reference plane for dissection depth. The pocket was filled with viscoelastic, and an anterior corneal lamella was excised. A full thickness donor button was sutured into the recipient bed after stripping its Descemet's membrane. RESULTS: In 25 consecutive human eye bank eyes, a 12% microperforation rate was found. Corneal dissection depth averaged 95.4% (SD 2.7%). Six patient eyes had uneventful surgeries; in a seventh eye, perforation of the lamellar bed occurred. All transplants cleared. Central pachymetry ranged from 0.62 to 0.73 mm. CONCLUSION: With this technique a deep stromal anterior lamellar keratoplasty can be performed with the donor to recipient interface just anterior to the posterior corneal surface. The technique has the advantage that the dissection can be completed in the event of inadvertent microperforation, or that the procedure can be aborted to perform a planned penetrating keratoplasty. (+info)
Proteoglycan synthesis by bovine keratocytes and corneal fibroblasts: maintenance of the keratocyte phenotype in culture.
PURPOSE: To determine the effect of serum on morphology, growth, and proteoglycan synthesis by primary cultures of collagenase-isolated bovine keratocytes. METHODS: Keratocytes were isolated from bovine corneas using sequential collagenase digestion and cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium (DMEM), with and without fetal bovine serum (FBS). Proteoglycans synthesized by the cells in culture and by keratocytes in intact cornea culture were metabolically radiolabeled with 35SO4. The proteoglycans were characterized by their sensitivity to keratanase, chondroitinase ABC, and heparatinase and by their size on Superose 6 HR. Cell number was determined by measuring DNA content of the culture dishes. RESULTS: Keratocytes cultured in 10% FBS proliferated, appeared fibroblastic, and synthesized only 9% of the total glycosaminoglycan as keratan sulfate (KS), whereas cells in serum-free media were quiescent, appeared dendritic, and synthesized 47% KS, a value similar to the 45% KS for corneas radiolabeled overnight in organ culture. This increased proportion of KS synthesis in serum-free media was caused by a moderate increase in KS synthesis combined with a substantial decrease in chondroitin sulfate (CS) synthesis. Fractionation on Superose 6 High Resolution showed the size and relative amounts of the CS- and KS-containing proteoglycans synthesized by keratocytes in serum-free media also more closely resembled that of keratocytes in corneas in organ culture than keratocytes in media containing serum. CONCLUSIONS: A comparison of proteoglycan synthesis and cell morphology between keratocytes in corneas in organ culture and in cell culture indicates that keratocytes maintain a more native biosynthetic phenotype and appearance when cultured in serum-free media. These results also suggest that culturing in the presence of serum fundamentally alters the keratocyte phenotype to an activated cell, mimicking certain changes observed during wound healing. (+info)
Failure to activate transcription factor NF-kappaB in corneal stromal cells (keratocytes).
PURPOSE: Freshly isolated cultures of corneal stromal cells (keratocytes) are incompetent to synthesize the tissue remodeling proteinase, collagenase, in response to agents such as cytochalasin B (CB) or phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), which are strong stimulators of collagenase expression in subcultured fibroblasts of all types, including those from corneal stroma. Incompetence is due to failure to activate an autocrine interleukin (IL)1alpha feedback loop required to mediate cell response. The goal of the present study was to investigate the mechanism for this failure. METHODS: A cell culture model of freshly isolated corneal stromal cells and subcultured stromal fibroblasts from rabbits was used for these studies. RESULTS: Competence to synthesize collagenase in response to CB was acquired as a differentiation property by corneal stromal cells placed in culture, and did not require subculture. Competence acquisition correlated with transition to a fibroblastic spindle shape, assembly of actin stress fibers, and the acquired capacity to collapse in response to CB. It was demonstrated that competence could be more precisely defined as the capacity to express IL-1alpha in response to IL-1, making possible activation of the feedback loop. Investigation into the signaling pathway for IL-1alpha expression in response to IL-1 revealed a requirement for reactive oxygen species and activity of the transcription factor nuclear factor (NF)kappaB. Importantly, freshly isolated stromal cells were found to be relatively incompetent to activate NF-kappaB in comparison to subcultured stromal fibroblasts. CONCLUSIONS: Failure to activate NF-kappaB explains incompetence for expression of IL-1alpha in corneal stromal cells. Because NF-kappaB regulates many cell functions with potential to disturb corneal structure, including expression of inflammatory, stress, and degradative proteinase genes; protection against apoptosis; and cell replication; this seems likely to be an important mechanism protecting corneal stasis and preserving function. (+info)
Functional human corneal equivalents constructed from cell lines.
Human corneal equivalents comprising the three main layers of the cornea (epithelium, stroma, and endothelium) were constructed. Each cellular layer was fabricated from immortalized human corneal cells that were screened for use on the basis of morphological, biochemical, and electrophysiological similarity to their natural counterparts. The resulting corneal equivalents mimicked human corneas in key physical and physiological functions, including morphology, biochemical marker expression, transparency, ion and fluid transport, and gene expression. Morphological and functional equivalents to human corneas that can be produced in vitro have immediate applications in toxicity and drug efficacy testing, and form the basis for future development of implantable tissues. (+info)
Distribution of ascorbate in the anterior bovine eye.
PURPOSE: To analyze the ascorbate distribution in the anterior eye wall to better understand the functional significance of this compound in the eye. METHOD: Ascorbic acid was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography using an LC-10 system (Shimadzu, Kyoto, Japan). Bovine eye samples were used. RESULTS: The highest ascorbate concentration was observed in the corneal epithelium, with significantly higher values in the central (1.56 mg/g) than in the peripheral (1.39 mg/g) area. The ascorbate content was similar in the corneal stroma (0.22 mg/g), the Descemet's membrane (DM)/endothelium (0.22 mg/g), and the aqueous humor (0.21 mg/ml). By comparison, the sclera (0.15 mg/g) and the conjunctiva (0.11 mg/g) showed lower values, as did the lacrimal gland (0.09 mg/g) and the serum (0.0008 mg/ml). CONCLUSIONS: (1) Peak ascorbate concentration was observed in the central corneal epithelium covering the pupillary area. This is compatible with the idea that the ascorbate may act as an UV filter shielding internal eye structures from radiation damage. (2) The ascorbate concentration in the corneal stroma and DM/endothelium was as high as in the aqueous humor, and it is suggested that the aqueous humor plays a key role in the distribution of ascorbate to the anterior eye wall. (+info)