Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2005 Feb;46(2):504-13.

Expression of muscarinic and adrenergic receptors in normal human conjunctival epithelium.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Applied Ophthalmobiology, University of Valladolid, Valladolid E-47005, Spain.



To study the presence of muscarinic and alpha- and beta-adrenergic receptors in a normal human conjunctival epithelial (IOBA-NHC) cell line.


Neurotransmitter receptors were determined in IOBA-NHC cells by flow cytometry, immunofluorescence, and Western blot analysis. Antibodies to M(1)-, M(2)-, and M(3)-muscarinic and to alpha(1A)-, alpha(1B)-, alpha(1D)-, alpha(2A)-, alpha(2B)-, alpha(2C)-, beta(1)-, beta(2)-, and beta(3)-adrenergic receptor subtypes were used. Different culture media were tested, including the addition of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and/or interferon (IFN)-gamma. Normal human conjunctiva biopsy specimens and rat tissues were used in control experiments.


By immunofluorescence microscopy, all receptor subtypes, except the alpha(2C)-adrenergic receptor, were detected in control biopsy specimens. By flow cytometry, the M(2)- and M(3)-muscarinic receptors and alpha(1A)-, alpha(1B)-, alpha(1D)-, alpha(2A)-, alpha(2B)-, alpha(2C)-, beta(1)-, and beta(3)-adrenergic receptors were detected intracellularly and in cell membranes of the IOBA-NHC cells. M(1)-muscarinic and beta(2)-adrenergic receptors were detected only intracellularly, but were mobilized to the cell membrane when cholera toxin and hydrocortisone were omitted from the culture medium. Confocal microscopy detected the M(2) and M(3)-muscarinic and alpha(1A)-, alpha(2A)-, alpha(2B)-, beta(1)- and beta(2)-adrenergic receptor subtypes. Western blot analyses showed bands for all receptors. M(2)-muscarinic and alpha(1B)- and alpha(2B)-adrenergic receptors expression was upregulated when cells were treated with the proinflammatory cytokines IFN gamma and/or TNF alpha.


The IOBA-NHC cell line maintained expression of the neurotransmitter receptors expressed in normal human conjunctival epithelium. A proinflammatory medium upregulated expression of some receptors. Although the functional state of these receptors is unknown, these findings justify further use of the IOBA-NHC cell line to study the neural component of conjunctival inflammation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Support Center