Investigative ophthalmology & visual science

The roles of urokinase-type plasminogen activator in leukocyte infiltration and inflammatory responses in mice corneas treated with lipopolysaccharide.

PMID 25061113


Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA) plays an important role in corneal wound healing, yet its role in corneal inflammation remains poorly understood. We investigated the role of u-PA in a murine model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced corneal inflammation. The corneal epithelium was scraped and LPS was applied to u-PA wild-type (u-PA(+/+)) and u-PA-deficient (u-PA(-/-)) mice. Corneal re-epithelialization and opacity were measured by stereomicroscopy. Fibrin zymography was performed to detect plasminogen activators in corneas from u-PA(+/+) and u-PA(-/-) mice. Neutrophil, macrophage, and u-PA receptor (u-PAR) expression were determined by immunohistochemistry. Gene expression of corneal macrophage chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 and macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-2 was assessed with reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The in vitro effects of endogenous u-PA on MCP-1, MIP-2, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, and MMP-9 expression, and macrophage migration activity in mouse ocular fibroblasts stimulated by LPS, were examined. The u-PA(+/+) mice showed enhanced corneal inflammation as compared with u-PA(-/-) mice. The u-PA expression was increased by LPS stimulation. Immunohistochemical analyses indicated that more neutrophils and macrophages were present in corneas from u-PA(+/+) mice than u-PA(-/-) mice. The u-PAR expression was detected in inflammatory cells and in the leading edges of the epithelial migrating cells. Enhanced mRNA expression of MCP-1 and MIP-2 was observed in corneas from u-PA(+/+) mice compared to u-PA(-/-) mice. Macrophage chemoattractant protein-1, MIP-2, and MMP-9, but not MMP-2, significantly increased in corneal fibroblasts from u-PA(+/+) mice compared with u-PA(-/-) mice. These data indicate that u-PA promotes LPS-induced leukocyte infiltration in cornea and that u-PA is an important component in LPS-induced corneal inflammatory responses.