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Mol Vis. 2013;19:85-99. Epub 2013 Jan 17.

Involvement of corneal epithelial cells in the Th17 response in an in vitro bacterial inflammation model.

Author information

1
Ocular Surface Group-IOBA, University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) are frequent causes of bacterial keratitis, an inflammatory process that can lead to vision loss. We used a human corneal epithelial (HCE) cell line to study the Th17 inflammatory pathway, including interleukin (IL-) 6, IL-17, and associated receptors, in response to stimulation by SA and PA culture supernatants.

METHODS:

Cells of the HCE cell line were exposed to either SA or PA supernatants in dilutions of 1:100 or 1:50, or to human recombinant IL-17A (20 ng/ml). Cell culture supernatants were collected at 6, 24, and 72 h, and protein and RNA were isolated. Expression of cytokine (IL-6, IL-17A), receptor (sIL-6R, IL-17RA), and mediator (soluble glycoprotein [sgp] 130, MIP3α) proteins and mRNAs were determined with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunohistochemistry, western blotting, and real-time, reverse-transcription quantitative PCR. In addition, IL-17RA was localized by transmission electron microscopy after immunogold labeling.

RESULTS:

Basal secretion of IL-6 and IL-17A by HCE cells occurred in a time-dependent manner. Expression of IL-6 was significantly enhanced by SA stimulation, but not by PA stimulation. IL-6 mRNA expression was higher in the control and SA-stimulated cells at 6 and 24 h, but not at 72 h. In the PA-stimulated cells, mRNA levels were significantly lower than the controls at 6 and 24 h. Expression of sIL-6R was not altered by SA or PA supernatants, but sgp130 expression was greater than controls at 6 h, less than controls at 24 h, and the same as controls at 72 h. HCE cells secreted IL-17A in a time-dependent manner that was not altered by stimulation; however, the IL-17A mRNA levels were lower than those of the controls at 6 h. With immunohistochemistry, IL-17RA was localized in perinuclear vesicles and in the cytosol and membranes of HCE cells. IL-17RA was also present in the epithelial cells from human ocular surface tissues. As quantified with western blotting, expression of IL-17RA was unchanged in HCE cells stimulated by SA or PA supernatants.

CONCLUSIONS:

HCE cells react to bacterial inflammation by enhancing the secretion of IL-6 and by regulating the proinflammatory response with differential secretion of sgp130. Under normal conditions, HCE cells and ocular surface tissues express IL-17RA. Additionally, HCE cells express IL-17RA after bacterial stimulation. All of these molecules are involved in the Th17 differentiation pathway, suggesting that corneal epithelial cells may act as indirect participants in the Th17 signaling pathway.

PMID:
23378722
PMCID:
PMC3561074
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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