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Satya Sree Kolar, Hasna Baidouri, Alison M. McDermott; Role of Pattern Recognition Receptors in the Modulation of Antimicrobial Peptide Expression in the Corneal Epithelial Innate Response to F. solani. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(5):2463-2472. doi: 10.1167/iovs.16-20658.
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Fusarium solani (F. solani) keratitis is a potentially sight-threatening fungal infection of the cornea. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), such as human β-defensins (hBDs) and cathelicidins, essential components of the immune system, likely have a protective role against F. solani keratitis. We examined the role of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), Dectin-1, and TLR2 in F. solani–induced modulation of AMP expression in vitro.
Human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs) were exposed to heat-inactivated F. solani or pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) of F. solani (Zymosan or Zymosan Depleted) for 6, 12, or 24 hours following which AMP mRNA and protein levels were determined. Involvement of TLR2 and Dectin-1 was confirmed by using siRNA knock-down (TLR2 and Dectin-1) or chemical inhibitor BAY 61-3606 (Dectin-1). The functional significance of AMP upregulation was tested using culture supernatant from F. solani or PAMP-treated HCECs against F. solani in the presence of hBD2 or LL37 neutralizing antibody.
We confirm that HCECs express Dectin-1 and TLR2. HCECs demonstrated upregulation of AMPs hBD2 and cathelicidin LL37 following exposure to heat-inactivated F. solani or PAMPs. TLR2 and Dectin-1 knockdown and BAY 61-3606 treatment decreased AMP mRNA upregulation confirming PRR involvement. The culture supernatant from F. solani or PAMP-treated HCECs showed substantial killing of F. solani and hBD2 or LL37 neutralizing antibody significantly decreased this effect implicating involvement of these AMPs.
These findings demonstrate that Dectin-1 and TLR2 have an important role in regulating F. solani-induced AMP expression in corneal epithelial cells.
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