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

Platelet-activating factor induces collagenase expression in corneal epithelial cells.

Platelet-activating factor (PAF), a potent lipid mediator involved in inflammatory and immune responses, accumulates rapidly in response to injury in a variety of tissues, including the corneal epithelium. However, the precise role of this compound in the cascade of events following insult has not been defined. Here we examined the effect of PAF on gene expression in the epithelial cells of rabbit corneas in organ culture. We found that incubation with 100 nM methylcarbamoyl PAF, a nonhydrolyzable analog of PAF, produced rapid transient 2.8- and 3.5-fold increases in the expression of c-fos and c-jun, respectively, at 1 hr, followed by increased expression of the collagenase type I gene beginning at 3 hr and peaking at 14-fold by 8 hr. Addition of the protein-synthesis-inhibitor cycloheximide superinduced c-fos and c-jun, strongly potentiating the PAF effect, but inhibited the induction of collagenase type I expression, suggesting the existence of a transcriptional factor linking the two events. BN-50730, a selective antagonist of intracellular PAF-binding sites, blocked the expression of the immediate-early genes as well as the increase in collagenase type I mRNA. Our results suggest that one of the functions of PAF may be to enhance the breakdown of the extracellular matrix as a part of the remodeling process during corneal wound healing after injury. Pathologically, a PAF-induced overproduction of collagenase may be a factor in the development of corneal ulcers, as well as other pathophysiological conditions such as cartilage destruction in arthritis. If so, inhibitors of this signal-transduction pathway may be useful as tools for further investigation and, eventually, as therapeutic agents to treat such disorders.[1]


  1. Platelet-activating factor induces collagenase expression in corneal epithelial cells. Bazan, H.E., Tao, Y., Bazan, N.G. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1993) [Pubmed]
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