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Xiaoyu Jiang, Sharon A. McClellan, Ronald Barrett, Megan Foldenauer, Linda D. Hazlett; HGF Signaling Impacts Severity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Keratitis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(4):2180-2190. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-13743.
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To determine whether rapamycin altered corneal growth factor levels to impact severity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa keratitis.
BALB/c mice were injected intraperitoneally with rapamycin or PBS and infected with P. aeruginosa . Corneas were harvested and mRNA levels of growth factors (EGF, HGF, FGF-7/KGF), receptors (EGFR, c-met, FGFR-2), and signaling molecules (PI3K, Akt, S6K1, and IGF-1R) tested. ELISA determined HGF/c-met, IGF-1, and Substance P (SP) protein levels.Corneal application of recombinant (r)HGF was assessed by clinical score, photography with a slit lamp, real-time RT-PCR (mRNA for mT0R, IL-10, IL-12, IL-18, PI3KCα, Akt), and ELISA (total and phosphorylated [p]c-met); rIGF-1 effects also were tested by ELISA. In vitro, RAW cells and peritoneal macrophages were stimulated with LPS ± rHGF ± c-met inhibitor (CI) and mTOR mRNA levels tested.
Rapamycin disparately regulated infected corneal mRNA levels of EGF/EGFR and FGF-7/FGFR-2, but HGF/c-met mRNA levels both increased. ELISA confirmed elevated HGF protein. Rapamycin did not change PI3KCα or Akt signaling molecule expression, downregulated S6K1, but upregulated IGF-1R mRNA levels; IGF-1 and SP proteins also were upregulated. After infection, topical rHGF versus PBS increased mRNA levels of IL-12p40, IL-18, PI3KCα, and Akt; mTOR and IL-10 mRNA were downregulated; rIGF-1 increased HGF protein. In vitro, rHGF and LPS lowered RAW cell and macrophage mTOR levels; CI addition restored them.
Collectively, these data provide evidence that enhanced corneal HGF levels increase signaling through the c-met receptor, decrease mTOR levels, and enhance proinflammatory cytokines, while decreasing anti-inflammatory cytokines, and that HGF signaling is central to disease outcome.
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