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See 1 citation in Ocul Surf 2018:

Ocul Surf. 2018 Jul;16(3):341-351. doi: 10.1016/j.jtos.2018.04.005. Epub 2018 Apr 28.

Effect of intermittent shear stress on corneal epithelial cells using an in vitro flow culture model.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany; Department of Anatomy II, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany. Electronic address: ulrike.hampel@unimedizin-mainz.de.
2
Department of Anatomy II, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany.
3
Department of Anatomy II, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany. Electronic address: friedrich.paulsen@fau.de.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The aim of this study was to establish and to evaluate an in vitro model for culturing human telomerase-immortalized corneal epithelial (hTCEpi) cells under adjustable medium flow mimicking the movements of the tear film on the ocular surface.

METHODS:

Using an IBIDI pump system, cells were cultured under unidirectional, continuous or oscillating, discontinuous medium flow. Cell surface and cytoskeletal architecture were investigated by scanning electron microscopy and immunofluorescence. Gene expression of e-cadherin, occludin, tight junction protein (TJP), desmoplakin, desmocollin and mucins was investigated by real-time PCR. Protein expression of desmoplakin, TJP, occludin and e-cadherin was analyzed by western blot and localization was detected by immunofluorescence. Rose bengal staining was used to assess mucin (MUC) barrier integrity. MUC1, -4 and -16 proteins were localized by immunofluorescence.

RESULTS:

Medium flow-induced shear stress dramatically changed cellular morphology of hTCEpi. Cells subjected to discontinuous shear stress displayed the typical flattened, polygonal cell shape of the superficial layer of stratified squamous epithelia. Cell surfaces showed less bulging under shear stress and less extracellular gaps. The mRNA expression of E-cadherin, occludin and TJP were increased under oscillatory medium flow. Desmoplakin and occludin protein were upregulated under oscillatory shear stress. Stress fiber formation was not aligned to flow direction. MUC1, -4, and -16 protein were localized under all culture conditions, a regulation on mRNA expression was not detectable. Rose Bengal uptake was diminished under unidirectional conditions.

CONCLUSION:

Our findings suggest that shear stress as it occurs at the ocular surface during blinking exerts marked effects on corneal epithelial cells, such as changes in cellular morphology and expression of cell junctions. The described model may be useful for in vitro investigations of ocular surface epithelia as it represents a much more physiologic reproduction of the in vivo situation than the commonly applied static culture conditions.

KEYWORDS:

Cell culture; Corneal epithelial cells; Shear stress; Tear flow

PMID:
29709661
DOI:
10.1016/j.jtos.2018.04.005

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