Vitronectin supports migratory responses of corneal epithelial cells to substrate bound IGF-I and HGF, and facilitates serum-free cultivation
Ainscough, Sarah Louise (2006) Vitronectin supports migratory responses of corneal epithelial cells to substrate bound IGF-I and HGF, and facilitates serum-free cultivation. Experimental Eye Research, 83(6), pp. 1505-1514.
Vitronectin (VN) is a multi-functional glycoprotein best known for its effects on cell attachment and spreading, but has more recently been shown to mediate cellular responses to growth factors. The presence of VN within the tear film and expression of required receptors (alpha v integrins) on corneal epithelial cells suggests the potential for a similar role within the ocular surface. Thus we have studied the ability of VN to alter the metabolic (MTT assay) and migratory (trans-membrane migration) responses of corneal epithelial cells to growth factors associated with the ocular surface including epidermal growth factor (EGF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I). Our hypothesis was that culture surfaces coated with VN might selectively facilitate responses to growth factors which are known to bind VN including EGF, IGF-I (via IGF binding protein) and HGF. Metabolic responses were observed towards each growth factor when applied to the culture medium, but not towards culture plastic pre-treated with VN and, or growth factors. Optimal metabolic responses were observed towards IGF-I applied in conjunction with EGF. Migration through porous polycarbonate membrane was significantly increased when the substrate had been pre-coated with VN and IGF-I (applied in conjunction with IGFBP-3) or VN and HGF. This finding is consistent with the ability of IGF-I (via an IGFBP) and HGF to form complexes with VN and suggests that integrin/growth factor receptor co-activation is required for corneal epithelial cell migration. In further studies, VN applied in conjunction with IGF-I, IGFBP-3 and EGF (both to the culture plastic and in the culture medium) was found to support the establishment and serial propagation of limbal-corneal epithelial cell cultures in the absence of serum, but irradiated 3T3 cells (i3T3) were still necessary for culture expansion. Immunocytochemistry of resulting cultures for keratin 3 and p63 revealed a similar phenotype to those established under current best-practice conditions (i3T3, foetal bovine serum, EGF and insulin). In conclusion, our novel findings suggest a role for VN-growth factor complexes in stimulating corneal epithelial migration within the provisional wound bed and demonstrate that VN-growth factors interactions can be exploited to enable manufacture of bioengineered ocular surface tissue under serum-free conditions.
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