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The role of toll-like receptor 4 in corneal epithelial wound healing



The role of toll-like receptor 4 in corneal epithelial wound healing



Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 55(9): 6108-6115



We evaluated the role of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in corneal epithelial wound healing. The expression of TLR4 during in vivo corneal epithelial wound healing was examined by immunostaining in mice. The expression and activation of TLR4 was studied in primary or telomerase-immortalized human corneal epithelial cells (HCEC). Scratch assay was performed to evaluate in vitro wound closure using live time-lapse microscopy. Transwell migration assay and Ki67 immunostaining were done to evaluate migration and proliferation, respectively. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was used to activate TLR4, whereas CLI-095 was used for its inhibition. The expression of inflammatory cytokines was determined by RT-PCR and ELISA. The activation of p42/44 and p38 was determined by immunoblotting. In the murine model, TLR4 immunostaining was noted prominently in the epithelium 8 hours after wounding. There was a 4-fold increase in the expression of TLR4 6 hours after in vitro scratch wounding (P < 0.001). Confocal microscopy confirmed the membrane localization of TLR4/MD2 complex. There was a significant increase in migration, proliferation, and wound closure in HCEC treated with LPS (P < 0.05), while there was significant decrease with TLR4 inhibition (P < 0.05). Addition of LPS to wounded HCEC resulted in a significant increase in the expression of IL-6, TNF-α, CXCL8/IL8, and CCL5/RANTES at the mRNA and protein levels. Likewise, LPS increased the activation of p42/44 and p38 in wounded HCEC. These results suggest that epithelial wounding induces the expression of functional TLR4. Toll-like receptor 4 signaling appears to contribute to early corneal epithelial wound repair by enhancing migration and proliferation.

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Accession: 056489087

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 25183764

DOI: 10.1167/iovs.14-14736


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