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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The involvement of the rho-kinase pathway and its regulation in cytokine-induced collagen gel contraction by hyalocytes.

PURPOSE: To investigate the involvement of the Rho-kinase pathway in collagen gel contraction by hyalocytes. METHODS: An in vitro type I collagen gel contraction assay using cultured bovine hyalocytes was performed to evaluate the effect of PDGF-BB and TGF-beta2. The effect of both cytokines on the phosphorylation of myosin light chain (MLC) was analyzed by Western blot analysis. To confirm the involvement of the Rho-kinase pathway in the collagen gel contraction, the effects of Y27632, a specific Rho-kinase inhibitor were examined. The effect of hydroxyfasudil, another potent Rho-kinase inhibitor, was also evaluated. The expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin (alphaSMA) was analyzed by Western blot analysis to examine the myofibroblast-like transdifferentiation of the hyalocytes. RESULTS: Maximum collagen gel contraction was observed within 24 hours after treatment with PDGF-BB and much stronger contraction with TGF-beta2, whose effect was time dependent, at least up to 5 days. Although transient and maximum MLC phosphorylation by PDGF-BB was observed at approximately 4 hours after stimulation (180.8%, P <0.01), TGF-beta2-elicited MLC phosphorylation occurred in a time-dependent manner at least up to 24 hours (220.0%, P <0.01) and was maintained up to 5 days. Y27632 demonstrated significant inhibition of collagen gel contraction induced by both cytokines. Hydroxyfasudil dose-dependently (0.03-20.00 microM) prohibited the phosphorylation of MLC, and inhibited collagen gel contraction at a concentration corresponding to that which inhibited MLC phosphorylation. TGF-beta2, but not PDGF-BB, also caused myofibroblast-like transdifferentiation with alphaSMA overexpression, which was downregulated by hydroxyfasudil in part (P <0.01). CONCLUSIONS: The hyalocytes have a contractile property in the presence of PDGF-BB and TGF-beta2. Whereas PDGF-BB initiates collagen gel contraction by transient activation of the Rho-kinase pathway, sustained activation of the Rho-kinase pathway and myofibroblast-like transdifferentiation appears to be involved in the TGF-beta2-dependent contractile properties of hyalocytes.[1]


  1. The involvement of the rho-kinase pathway and its regulation in cytokine-induced collagen gel contraction by hyalocytes. Hirayama, K., Hata, Y., Noda, Y., Miura, M., Yamanaka, I., Shimokawa, H., Ishibashi, T. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. (2004) [Pubmed]
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