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Sangly P. Srinivas, Minati Satpathy, Ying Guo, Vasuki Anandan; Histamine-Induced Phosphorylation of the Regulatory Light Chain of Myosin II Disrupts the Barrier Integrity of Corneal Endothelial Cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(9):4011-4018. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.05-1127.
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purpose. To investigate histamine-induced changes in the phosphorylation of myosin light chain (MLC) and its influence on the barrier integrity of corneal endothelial cells through altered contractility of the actin cytoskeleton.
methods. Experiments were performed in cultured bovine corneal endothelial cells (BCECs). Phosphorylation of MLC, which increases contractility of the actin cytoskeleton through actomyosin interaction, was assessed by urea-glycerol gel electrophoresis and Western blot analysis. Immunocytochemistry was used to locate phosphorylated MLC in relation to tight junctions. Phosphorylation of the 17-kDa PKC-potentiated inhibitory protein of type 1 protein phosphatase (CPI-17), which inhibits MLC phosphatase, was studied using Western blot analysis. The cortical actin cytoskeleton was visualized by staining with Texas-red phalloidin. Barrier integrity was determined by quantifying horseradish peroxidase (HRP; 44 kDa) flux across cells grown on porous filters.
results. RT-PCR and Western blot analysis confirmed the expression of Gαq/11-coupled H1 receptors in BCECs. Exposure to histamine (100 μM; 10 minutes) led to phosphorylation of MLC (134% relative to untreated cells) and of CPI-17. Histamine also increased the flux of HRP by sevenfold and disrupted the assembly of the dense cortical actin found in resting cells. PKC activation by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA; 100 nM; 30 minutes) caused phosphorylation of both MLC and CPI-17. The histamine-induced MLC phosphorylation was reduced by pre-exposure to either ML-7 (50 μM), an MLCK (MLC kinase) inhibitor, or chelerythrine (10 μM), an inhibitor of PKC. Cotreatment with agents that elevate cAMP in BCECs prevented the histamine-induced MLC phosphorylation and the disruption of the actin cytoskeleton, and increased HRP flux. Phosphorylated MLC in response to histamine or PMA was found in a punctate form in close proximity to ZO-1, a marker of the tight junctional complex.
conclusions. Histamine induces MLC phosphorylation by activating MLCK and partly inhibiting MLC phosphatase. The latter is facilitated by the phosphorylation of CPI-17. Localization of phosphorylated MLC in proximity to ZO-1 suggests increased contractility of the cortical actin at the tight junctional complex. This contractility oppose the tethering forces and lead to a breakdown of the barrier integrity. Last, elevated cAMP prevents histamine-induced loss of the barrier integrity, not only by blocking inactivation of MLC phosphatase but also by inactivating MLCK.
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