The PACAP-derived peptide MPAPO facilitates corneal wound healing by promoting corneal epithelial cell proliferation and trigeminal ganglion cell axon regeneration.
ABSTRACT: It is well known that the cornea plays an important role in providing protection to the eye, but it is fragile and vulnerable. To clarify the biological effects and molecular mechanisms of the pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP)-derived peptide MPAPO (named MPAPO) to promote corneal wound healing, we applied a mechanical method to establish a corneal injury model and analyzed the repair effects of MPAPO on corneal injury. MPAPO significantly promoted corneal wound repair in C57BL/6 mice. In addition, we established injury models of epithelial cells and trigeminal ganglion cells with H2O2. The results show that when the concentration of MPAPO is 1 ?M, it can significantly promote the repair of injured corneal epithelial cells and the regeneration of trigeminal ganglion cell axons. MPAPO repairs epithelial cells through the promotion of GSK3? phosphorylation by binding to PAC1 and activating AKT. ?-catenin escapes the phosphorylation of GSK3? and enters the nucleus to promote the expression of cyclin D1, accelerate cell cycle progression and promote cell proliferation. MPAPO promotes axonal regeneration by binding to the PAC1 receptor and activating adenylate cyclase activity, followed by the cAMP activation of protein kinase A activity and the promotion of CREB phosphorylation. Phosphorylated CREB promotes Bcl2 expression and axonal regeneration. In conclusion, our data support the role of MPAPO to facilitate corneal wound healing by promoting corneal epithelial cell proliferation and trigeminal ganglion cell axon regeneration.
Project description:Corneal nerves are mainly derived from the ophthalmic branch of the trigeminal ganglion (TG). Corneal neuropathy contributes to epithelial degenerative changes in diabetic keratopathy. Efficient drug delivery to TG may be beneficial for the treatment of diabetic keratopathy. This article described intranasal delivery of nanomicelle curcumin to correct pathophysiological conditions in TG to promote corneal epithelial/nerve wound healing in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. A diabetic mice model with corneal epithelium abrasion was established. Ocular topical and/or intranasal nanomicelle curcumin treatments were performed, and treatment efficacy and mechanisms of action were explored. Results showed that intranasal nanomicelle curcumin treatment promoted corneal epithelial wound healing and recovery of corneal sensation. Enhanced accumulation of reactive oxygen species, reduced free radical scavengers, increased mRNA expressions of inflammatory cytokines, and decreased mRNA expressions of neurotrophic factors in the cornea and TG neuron were observed in diabetic mice with corneal epithelium abrasions. Intranasal nanomicelle curcumin treatment effectively recovered these pathophysiological conditions, especially that of the TG neuron, and a strengthened recovery was observed with ocular topical combined with intranasal treatment. These findings indicated that intranasal curcumin treatment effectively helped promote diabetic corneal epithelial/nerve wound healing. This novel treatment might be a promising strengthened therapy for diabetic keratopathy.
Project description:Corneal nerve fibers serving sensory, reflex, and neurotrophic functions sustain corneal homeostasis and transparency to promote normal visual function. It is not known whether corneal epithelium is also important for the corneal innervation. Herein, we generated a compound transgenic mouse strain, K14rtTA;tetO-Cre (TC);Shp2flox/flox, in which Shp2 was conditionally knocked out from K14-positive cells including corneal epithelium (Shp2K14ce-cko) upon doxycycline (dox) administration. Our data reveal that Shp2K14ce-cko caused corneal denervation. More specifically, corneal epithelium thickness and corneal sensitivity reduced dramatically in Shp2K14ce-cko mice. In addition, corneal epithelial wound healing after debridement was delayed substantially in the mutant mice. These defects manifested in Shp2K14ce-cko mice resemble the symptoms of human neurotrophic keratopathy. Our in vitro study shows that neurite outgrowth of the mouse primary trigeminal ganglion cells (TGCs) was inhibited when as cocultured with mouse corneal epithelial cells (TKE2) transfected by Shp2-, Mek1/2-, or ?Np63-targeted siRNA but not by Akt1/2-targeted siRNA. Furthermore, ?Np63 RNA interference downregulated Ngf expression in TKE2 cells. Cotransfection experiments reveal that Shp2 tightly monitored ?Np63 protein levels in HEK293 and TKE2 cells. Taken together, our data suggest that the Shp2-mediated MAPK pathway regulated ?Np63, which in turn positively regulated Ngf in epithelium to promote corneal innervation and epithelial homeostasis.
Project description:A variety of mouse strains and sexes are used in studies of corneal wound healing and nerve regeneration. However, there is a gap of knowledge about corneal nerve density and its function in different mouse strains and sexes. In this study, we report a strain divergence of total and substance P (SP) sensory corneal nerves in uninjured mice. The BALB/c mouse showed the highest nerve density, corneal sensitivity, and tear volume followed by CFW and then C57BL/6. No differences were found in total nerves and SP-positive nerves between sexes. After injury damaged the corneal nerves, an important role for mouse strains, biologic sex, and their association to corneal nerve regeneration was identified. All female mice have a faster nerve regeneration rate than males. The molecular mechanism of this sexual divergence involves higher secretion neurotrophic factors in tears, which in turn modulate gene expression in trigeminal ganglion neurons. An important upstream signaling regulator was β-estradiol, and topical treatment with β-estradiol confirmed its function in corneal nerve regeneration. In conclusion, our study shows that the strain and sex of laboratory mice significantly affect the different indicators of corneal innervation and nerve regeneration. Researchers investigating corneal diseases should carefully consider these factors.-Pham, T. L., Kakazu, A., He, J., Bazan, H. E. P. Mouse strains and sexual divergence in corneal innervation and nerve regeneration.
Project description:Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-B possesses the capacity of promoting injured peripheral nerve regeneration and restore their sensory and trophic functions. However, the contribution and mechanism of VEGF-B in diabetic peripheral neuropathy remains unclear. In the present study, we investigated the expression and role of VEGF-B in diabetic corneal neuropathy by using type 1 diabetic mice and cultured trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons. Hyperglycemia attenuated the endogenous expression of VEGF-B in regenerated diabetic corneal epithelium, but not that of VEGF receptors in diabetic TG neurons and axons. Exogenous VEGF-B promoted diabetic corneal nerve fiber regeneration through the reactivation of PI-3K/Akt-GSK3?-mTOR signaling and the attenuation of neuronal mitochondria dysfunction via the VEGF receptor-1 and neuropilin-1. Moreover, VEGF-B improved corneal sensation and epithelial regeneration in both normal and diabetic mice, accompanied with the elevated corneal content of pigment epithelial-derived factor (PEDF). PEDF blockade partially abolished trophic function of VEGF-B in diabetic corneal re-innervation. In conclusion, hyperglycemia suppressed endogenous VEGF-B expression in regenerated corneal epithelium of diabetic mice, while exogenous VEGF-B promoted recovery of corneal innervations and trophic functions through reactivating PI-3K/Akt-GSK-3?-mTOR signaling, attenuating neuronal oxidative stress and elevating PEDF expression.
Project description:DNase I has been reported to improve diabetic wound healing through the clearance of neutrophils extracellular traps (NETs) caused by neutrophil aggregation. However, the function of DNase I on diabetic corneal wound healing remains unclear. Here, we investigated the effect and mechanism of topical DNase I application on diabetic mouse corneal epithelial and nerve regeneration. Corneal epithelial defects, inflammatory response, regeneration-related signalling pathways, oxidative stress, corneal innervation and sensation were examined and compared between the diabetic and normal mice. The results confirmed firstly the increased NETs production during the delayed corneal epithelial wound healing of diabetic mice, which was significantly improved through either DNase I or Cl-amidine administration. Mechanistically, DNase I improved inflammation resolution, reactivated epithelial regeneration-related signalling pathways and attenuated the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Moreover, DNase I application also promoted corneal nerve regeneration and restored the impaired corneal sensitivity in diabetic mice. Therefore, these results indicate that topical DNase I application promotes corneal epithelial wound healing and mechanical sensation restoration in diabetic mice, representing the potential therapeutic approach for diabetic keratopathy.
Project description:Purpose:Neurotrophic keratopathy is a degenerative disease that may be improved by nerve growth factor (NGF). Our aim was to investigate the use of pergolide, a dopamine (D1 and D2) receptor agonist known to increase the synthesis and release of NGF for regeneration of damaged corneal nerve fibers. Methods:Pergolide function was evaluated by measuring axon length and NGF levels by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in cultured chicken dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cells with serial doses of pergolide (10, 25, 50, 150, and 300 µg/ml) and with different concentrations of a D1 antagonist. Pergolide function was further evaluated by cornea nerve fiber density and wound healing in a cornea scratch mouse model. Results:Pergolide increased DRG axon length significantly at a dose between 50 and 300 µg/ml. Different concentrations of D1 antagonist (12, 24, 48, and 96 µg/ml) inhibited DRG axon length growth with pergolide (300 µg/ml). Pergolide (50 µg/ml) upregulated NGF expression in DRG cells at both 24 hours and 48 hours. Pergolide improved cornea nerve fiber density at both 1 week and 2 weeks. Pergolide also improved cornea wound healing. Conclusions:We demonstrated that pergolide can act to promote an increase in NGF which promotes corneal nerve regeneration and would therefore improve corneal sensation and visual acuity in eyes with peripheral neurotrophic keratopathy.
Project description:The cornea is densely innervated to sustain the integrity of the ocular surface. Corneal nerve damage produced by aging, diabetes, refractive surgeries, and viral or bacterial infections impairs tear production, the blinking reflex, and epithelial wound healing, resulting in loss of transparency and vision. A combination of the known neuroprotective molecule, pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), has been shown to stimulate corneal nerve regeneration, but the mechanisms involved are unclear. Here, we sought to define the molecular events of this effect in an <i>in vivo</i> mouse injury model. We first confirmed that PEDF + DHA increased nerve regeneration in the mouse cornea. Treatment with PEDF activates the phospholipase A<sub>2</sub> activity of the PEDF-receptor (PEDF-R) leading to the release of DHA; this free DHA led to enhanced docosanoid synthesis and induction of <i>bdnf, ngf</i>, and the axon growth promoter semaphorin 7a (<i>sema7a</i>), and as a consequence, their products appeared in the mouse tears. Surprisingly, corneal injury and treatment with PEDF + DHA induced transcription of neuropeptide y (<i>npy</i>), small proline-rich protein 1a (<i>sprr1a</i>), and vasoactive intestinal peptide (<i>vip</i>) in the trigeminal ganglia (TG). The PEDF-R inhibitor, atglistatin, blocked all of these changes in the cornea and TG. In conclusion, we uncovered here an active cornea-TG axis, driven by PEDF-R activation, that fosters axon outgrowth in the cornea.
Project description:Netrins are secreted chemoattractants with the roles in axon guidance, cell migration and epithelial plasticity. In the present study, we investigated the roles of netrin-1 in the regulation of corneal epithelial wound healing, inflammation response and nerve fiber regeneration in diabetic mice and cultured corneal epithelial cells. In diabetic mice, the expression of netrin-1 was decreased when compared with that of normal mice. Furthermore, high glucose blocked the wounding-induced up-regulation of netrin-1 expression in corneal epithelial cells. Exogenous netrin-1 promoted the corneal epithelial wound healing in diabetic mice, and facilitated the proliferation and migration by reactivating the phosphorylation of ERK and EGFR in high-glucose treated corneal epithelial cells. Moreover, netrin-1 decreased the neutrophil infiltration and promoted M2 macrophage transition, accompanied with the attenuated expression of pro-inflammatory factors in diabetic mouse corneal epithelium. The promotions of netrin-1 on corneal epithelial wound healing and inflammation resolution were mediated at least through the adenosine 2B receptor. In addition, netrin-1 promoted the regeneration of corneal nerve fibers that was impaired in diabetic mice. Taken together, netrin-1 regulates corneal epithelial wound healing, inflammation response and nerve fiber regeneration in diabetic mice, indicating the potential application for the therapy of diabetic keratopathy.
Project description:Purpose:Neurotrophic keratopathy is a corneal epitheliopathy induced by trigeminal denervation that can be treated with eyedrops containing the neuropeptide substance P (or the peptide FGLM-NH2 derived therefrom) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (or the peptide SSSR derived therefrom). Here, we examine the mechanism by which substance P (or FGLM-NH2) promotes corneal epithelial wound healing in a mouse model of neurotrophic keratopathy. Methods:The left eye of mice subjected to trigeminal nerve axotomy in the right eye served as a model of neurotrophic keratopathy. Corneal epithelial wound healing was monitored by fluorescein staining and slit-lamp examination. The distribution of substance P, neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1R), and phosphorylated Akt was examined by immunohistofluorescence analysis. Cytokine and chemokine concentrations in intraocular fluid were measured with a multiplex assay. Results:Topical administration of FGLM-NH2 and SSSR promoted corneal epithelial wound healing in the neurotrophic keratopathy model in a manner sensitive to the NK-1R antagonist L-733,060. Expression of substance P and NK-1R in the superficial layer of the corneal epithelium decreased and increased, respectively, in model mice compared with healthy mice. FGLM-NH2 and SSSR treatment suppressed the production of interleukin-1?, macrophage inflammatory protein 1? (MIP-1?) and MIP-1? induced by corneal epithelial injury in the model mice. It also increased the amount of phosphorylated Akt in the corneal epithelium during wound healing in a manner sensitive to prior L-733,060 administration. Conclusions:The substance P-NK-1R axis promotes corneal epithelial wound healing in a neurotrophic keratopathy model in association with upregulation of Akt signaling and attenuation of changes in the cytokine-chemokine network.
Project description:Regeneration/repair after injury can be endowed by adult stem cells (ASCs) or lineage restricted and even terminally differentiated cells. In corneal epithelium, regeneration after a large wound depends on ASCs (limbal epithelial stem cells, LESCs), whereas repair after a small wound is LESCs-independent. Here, using rat corneal epithelial wounds with different sizes, we show that YAP activation promotes the activation and expansion of LESCs after a large wound, as well as the reprogramming of local epithelial cells (repairing epithelial cells) after a small wound, which contributes to LESCs-dependent and -independent wound healing, respectively. Mechanically, we highlight that the reciprocal regulation of YAP activity and the assembly of cell junction and cortical F-actin cytoskeleton accelerates corneal epithelial healing with different-sized wounds. Together, the common YAP activation and the underlying regulatory mechanism are harnessed by LESCs and lineage-restricted epithelial cells to cope with corneal epithelial wounds with different sizes.