In hypertonicity-stressed (i.e., 600 mOsm) SV40-immortalized rabbit and human corneal epithelial cell layers (RCEC and HCEC, respectively), we characterized the relationship between time-dependent changes in translayer resistance, relative cell volume and modulation of MAPK superfamily activities. Sulforhodamine B permeability initially increased by 1.4- and 2-fold in RCEC and HCEC, respectively. Subsequently, recovery to its isotonic level only occurred in RCEC. Light scattering revealed that in RCEC 1) regulatory volume increase (RVI) extent was 20% greater; 2) RVI half-time was 2.5-fold shorter. However, inhibition of Na-K-2Cl cotransporter and Na/K-ATPase activity suppressed the RVI response more in HCEC. MAPK activity changes were as follows: 1) p38 was wave-like and faster as well as larger in RCEC than in HCEC (90-and 18-fold, respectively); 2) increases in SAPK/JNK activity were negligible in comparison to those of p38; 3) Erk1/2 activity declined to 30–40% of their basal values. SB203580, a specific p38 inhibitor, dose de-pendently suppressed the RVI responses in both cell lines. However, neither U0126, which inhibits MEK, the kinase upstream of Erk, nor SP600125, inhibitor of SAPK/JNK, had any effect on this response. Taken together, sufficient activation of the p38 limb of the MAPK superfamily during a hypertonic challenge is essential for maintaining epithelial cell volume and translayer resistance. On the other hand, Erk1/2 activity restoration seems to be dependent on cell volume recovery.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 25, 2002
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