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  • Blockade of the intermediate-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K+ channel inhibits the angiogenesis induced by epidermal growth factor in the treatment of corneal alkali burn.

Blockade of the intermediate-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K+ channel inhibits the angiogenesis induced by epidermal growth factor in the treatment of corneal alkali burn.

Experimental eye research (2013-03-14)
Huike Yang, Xiaodong Li, Jing Ma, Xiaohong Lv, Shu Zhao, Wen Lang, Yafang Zhang
ABSTRACT

Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is used to treat alkali-burned corneas. However, EGF-induced corneal angiogenesis, which is currently untreatable, is a side effect of this therapy. We therefore explored the role of the intermediate-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel (KCa3.1) in EGF-induced angiogenesis and tested whether KCa3.1 blockade can suppress EGF-induced corneal angiogenesis. The proliferation, migration and tube formation of HUVECs (human umbilical vein endothelial cells) in response to EGF, the MEK inhibitor PD98059 and the KCa3.1 inhibitor TRAM-34 were analyzed in vitro via MTT, cell counting, scratch and tube formation assays. The protein and mRNA levels of KCa3.1, phosphorylated-ERK (P-ERK), total-ERK (T-ERK), cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4), vimentin and MMP-2 were assessed via western blotting and RT-PCR. KCa3.1 and vimentin expression were also detected through immunofluorescence staining. Flow cytometry was performed to examine the cell cycle. Further, an in vivo murine alkali-burned cornea model was developed and treated with EGF and TRAM-34 eye drops to analyze the effect of these treatments on corneal healing and angiogenesis. The corneas were also analyzed by histological staining. The in vitro results showed that EGF induces the upregulation of KCa3.1 and P-ERK in HUVECs and that this upregulation is suppressed by PD98059. EGF stimulates proliferation, migration and tube formation in HUVECs, and this effect can be suppressed by TRAM-34. TRAM-34 also arrests HUVECs in the G1 phase of the cell cycle and downregulates CDK4, vimentin and MMP-2 in these cells. The in vivo results indicated that TRAM-34 suppresses EGF-induced corneal angiogenesis without affecting EGF-induced corneal wound healing. In summary, the upregulation of KCa3.1 may be crucial for EGF-induced angiogenesis through the MAPK/ERK signaling pathway. Thus, KCa3.1 may be a potential target for the treatment of EGF-induced corneal angiogenesis.

MATERIALS
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