Abstract Title:

Sulforaphane inhibits cytokine-stimulated chemokine and adhesion molecule expressions in human corneal fibroblasts: Involvement of the MAPK, STAT, and NF-κB signaling pathways.

Abstract Source:

Exp Eye Res. 2022 03 ;216:108946. Epub 2022 Jan 14. PMID: 35038457

Abstract Author(s):

Xiuxia Yang, Pingping Liu, Xiaojing Zhao, Chengcheng Yang, Binhui Li, Ye Liu, Yang Liu

Article Affiliation:

Xiuxia Yang


Chemokines and adhesion molecules are major inflammatory mediators of chronic and recurrent vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC). Sulforaphane (SFN) is a natural plant extract that is known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. SFN is demonstrated to be effective against a variety of human diseases. The current investigation examines the effects and the molecular mechanisms of SFN on cytokine-induced human corneal fibroblasts (HCFs) expression of adhesion molecules and chemokines. HCFs were exposed to both interleukin (IL)-4 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in the absence or presence of SFN treatment. The levels of thymus- and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC) and eotaxin-1 in culture supernatants were evaluated using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis (RT-PCR) enabled quantification of mRNA levels of vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1, eotaxin-1, and TARC along with cytokine receptors. An immunoblotting assay was used to evaluate the activities of VCAM-1, nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), signal transducer and activator of transcription factor (STAT)6 pathways, along with the expression of the cytokine receptors including IL-4 receptor (R)α, IL-13Rα1, TNFRI, as well as TNFRII. SFN inhibited TARC and eotaxin-1 release in HCFs stimulated by TNF-α and IL-4 in a manner dependent on dose and time. SFN suppressed transcriptions of TARC, eotaxin-1, and VCAM-1. Furthermore, the mRNA and protein expression levels of IL-4Rα, TNFRI, and TNFRII were also attenuated by SFN exposure, however, those of IL-13Rα1 remained unaffected. In addition, SFN downregulated the expression of VCAM-1 and the phosphorylation of MAPKs, IκBα, and STAT6. These results suggest that SFN inhibited cytokine-stimulated TARC, eotaxin-1 secretion as well as VCAM-1 expression in HCFs, with these effects likely occurring as a result of cytokine receptor inhibition and attenuation of MAPK, NF-κB, and STAT6 signaling. SFN may therefore have therapeutic potential in VKC treatment.

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