Colchicine reverts cell shape but not collagen phenotypes in corneal endothelial cells modulated by polymorphonuclear leukocytes.


E P Kay
S Oh

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The authors have shown previously that polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) modulate rabbit corneal endothelial cells (CEC) into cells that irreversibly acquire the characteristics of fibroblasts, including multilayering of spindle-shaped cells and deposition of interstitial extracellular matrix composed predominantly of type I collagen. In an attempt to determine if the changes in cell shape caused by the disruption of cytoskeleton are correlated with the alteration of collagen phenotypes in fibroblastic corneal endothelial cells (FCEC), colchicine and cytochalasin B (CB) were used. A series of dose-response studies were performed, and correlated with exposure time. When cells were exposed to the drugs (ranging from 0.01-4.0 micrograms/ml) 24 hr after plating, the majority of cells treated with colchicine dramatically changed from fibroblastic to polygonal shape: cells became flattened and cytoplasmic processes disappeared. Conversely, no apparent changes were observed in the CB-treated cells. On removal of colchicine, the cells resumed fibroblastic morphology within 24 hr; most of the cells again developed cytoplasmic processes. When collagen phenotypes were analyzed by electrophoresis, types I, III, and V collagen were present in either the colchicine or CB-treated cells, regardless of the concentration of drug used. However, synthesis of type I trimer and type III collagen was significantly increased in the cells treated with colchicine at concentrations greater than or equal to 1.0 microgram/ml; the alpha 1:alpha 2 ratio was approximately 4.5, and type III accounted for 35-40% of the total collagen. CB did not induce a similar alteration. These observations indicate that changes in cell shape are not related to the switch of collagen phenotypes in FCEC.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


Animals, Cells, Cultured, Colchicine, Collagen, Cornea, Cytochalasin B, Cytoskeleton, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, Endothelium, Fibroblasts, Microscopy, Phase-Contrast, Neutrophils, Phenotype, Rabbits

Medical Subject Headings

Animals; Cells, Cultured; Colchicine; Collagen; Cornea; Cytochalasin B; Cytoskeleton; Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel; Endothelium; Fibroblasts; Microscopy, Phase-Contrast; Neutrophils; Phenotype; Rabbits

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Investigative ophthalmology & visual science







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