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Kenneth J. Mandell, Lennart Berglin, Eric A. Severson, Henry F. Edelhauser, Charles A. Parkos; Expression of JAM-A in the Human Corneal Endothelium and Retinal Pigment Epithelium: Localization and Evidence for Role in Barrier Function. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(9):3928-3936. doi: 10.1167/iovs.06-1536.
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purpose. Junctional adhesion molecules (JAMs) are a family of adhesion proteins found in intercellular junctions. Evidence suggests that JAM-A is important for the regulation of tight junction assembly and epithelial barrier function. The authors recently reported that JAM-A is expressed in rabbit corneal endothelium and that antibody to JAM-A produces corneal swelling. In the present study, they investigate JAM-A expression in the human corneal endothelium and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and examine the effect of a function-blocking antibody to JAM-A on the permeability of cultured RPE cell monolayers.
methods. Expression of JAM-A in human corneal endothelium, human RPE tissue, and cultured ARPE-19 monolayers was assessed by immunofluorescence confocal microscopy. Localization of JAM-A was compared with the tight junction-associated protein zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1). To investigate JAM-A function in ARPE-19 cells, ARPE-19 monolayers were subjected to a calcium switch protocol to disrupt cell junctions and treated with a function-blocking antibody to JAM-A or an isotype-matched control. Dextran flux assays were performed to assess the effect of JAM-A antibody on ARPE-19 monolayer permeability.
results. Expression of JAM-A was observed in human corneal endothelium, and its distribution correlated with the tight junction-associated protein ZO-1. In addition, expression of JAM-A was observed in human RPE and in intercellular junctions of ARPE-19 monolayers. The localization pattern of JAM-A in the RPE and ARPE-19 monolayers was similar to that of ZO-1. ARPE-19 monolayers treated with antibody to JAM-A demonstrated a 33% increase in permeability to 10,000 MWt dextran compared with monolayers treated with control antibody.
conclusions. Results of this study provide new information about JAM-A expression in tight junctions of the human corneal endothelium and human RPE. The observation that antibodies to JAM-A increase ARPE-19 monolayer permeability is consistent with previous findings of JAM-A function in epithelial tight junctions and suggests JAM-A may have a role in the regulation of RPE barrier function.
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