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Christelle Gross, Corinne Belville, Marilyne Lavergne, Héléna Choltus, Matthieu Jabaudon, Raïko Blondonnet, Jean-Michel Constantin, Frédéric Chiambaretta, Loïc Blanchon, Vincent Sapin; Advanced Glycation End Products and Receptor (RAGE) Promote Wound Healing of Human Corneal Epithelial Cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(3):14. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.61.3.14.
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We used a human corneal epithelial cell (HCE) line to determine the involvement of the advanced glycation end products (AGEs) / receptor for AGEs (RAGE) couple in corneal epithelium wound healing.
After wounding, HCE cells were exposed to two major RAGE ligands (HMGB1 and AGEs), and wound healing was evaluated using the in vitro scratch assay. Following wound healing, the HCE cells were used to study the influence of the RAGE ligands on HCE proliferation, invasion, and migration. Activation of the nuclear factor (NF)-κB signaling pathway by the AGEs/RAGE couple was tested using a luciferase reporter assay. Functional transcriptional regulation by this pathway was confirmed by quantification of expression of the connexin 43 target gene. For each experiment, specific RAGE involvement was confirmed by small interfering RNA treatments.
AGEs treatment at a dose of 100 µg/mL significantly improved the wound healing process in a RAGE-dependent manner by promoting cell migration, whereas HMGB1 had no effect. No significant influence of the AGEs/RAGE couple was observed on cell proliferation and invasion. However, this treatment induced an early activation of the NF-κB pathway and positively regulated the expression of the target gene, connexin 43, at both the mRNA and protein levels.
Our results demonstrate that the RAGE pathway is activated by AGEs treatment and is involved in the promotion of corneal epithelial wound healing. This positive action is observed only during the early stages of wound healing, as illustrated by the quick activation of the NF-κB pathway and induction of connexin 43 expression.
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