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Inhibitory Effect of Tranilast on Transforming Growth Factor-Beta-Induced Protein in Granular Corneal Dystrophy Type 2 Corneal Fibroblasts

Kim, Tae-im MD, PhD; Lee, Hun MD; Hong, Hye Kyoung PhD; Kim, Kyu Seo BS; Choi, Seung-Il PhD; Maeng, Yong-Sun PhD; Kim, Eung Kweon MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000000466
Basic Investigation
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Purpose: To investigate the effects of tranilast, an inhibitor of chemical mediators and fibroblast proliferation, on the expression of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β)-induced protein (TGFBIp) in wild-type (WT) and homozygous (HO) granular corneal dystrophy type 2 corneal fibroblasts.

Methods: Cell proliferation and cytotoxicity were measured by Cell Counting Kit-8 and lactate dehydrogenase assay. Western blotting and real-time polymerase chain reaction were used to determine changes in the expression of TGFBIp and TGFBI mRNA. We determined the effects of tranilast on phosphorylated Smad2 (pSmad2) and pSmad3, wound-healing, and expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), type I collagen, and integrins.

Results: High concentrations of tranilast decreased proliferation of corneal fibroblasts but did not cause elevation of lactate dehydrogenase, except at 1.0 mM tranilast. TGF-β increased the expression of TGFBIp and TGFBI mRNA in WT and HO corneal fibroblasts. Cotreatment of corneal fibroblasts with tranilast and TGF-β reduced the levels of TGFBIp and TGFBI mRNA. In addition, application of tranilast reduced pSmad2 in WT and HO corneal fibroblasts and pSmad3 in HO corneal fibroblasts, both of which were increased initially by TGF-β. Tranilast delayed wound healing and reduced the expression of α-SMA, type I collagen, and some of integrins in WT and HO corneal fibroblasts.

Conclusions: Application of tranilast in WT and HO corneal fibroblasts inhibited the expression of TGFBIp by blocking TGF-β signaling. Thus, tranilast may be useful in delaying or preventing the recurrence of corneal opacity in TGFBI-linked corneal dystrophies if clinical studies confirm these findings.

*The Institute of Vision Research, Corneal Dystrophy Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea;

Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA; and

Severance Biomedical Science Institute, Brain Korea 21 Plus Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.

Reprints: Eung Kweon Kim, MD, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-752, Korea (e-mail: eungkkim@yuhs.ac).

Supported in part by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST No. 2013R1A1A2058907) and Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2009-351-E00061).

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Received October 24, 2014

Received in revised form March 03, 2015

Accepted March 22, 2015

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