Interleukin-32 induced thymic stromal lymphopoietin plays a critical role in the inflammatory response in human corneal epithelium.Cell Signal. 2018 Sep; 49:39-45.CS
Interleukin (IL)-32, a novel cytokine, participates in a variety of inflammatory disorders. Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) plays important roles in mucosal epithelial cells, especially in allergy-induced inflammation, through the TSLP-TSLPR (thymic stromal lymphopoietin receptor) signalling pathway. However, the association of IL-32 with TSLP on the ocular surface remains unclear. The present work aimed to assess the functional association of IL-32 with TSLP in the control of pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in the corneal epithelium. Human corneal tissue specimens and human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs) were administered different concentrations of IL-32 in the presence or absence of various inhibitors to assess TSLP levels and localization, as well as the molecular pathways that control pro-inflammatory cytokine production. TSLP mRNA levels were determined by real time RT- PCR, while protein levels were quantitated by ELISA and immunohistochemical staining. TSLP protein expression was examined in donor corneal epithelium samples. IL-32 significantly upregulated TSLP and pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNFα and IL-6) in HCECs at the gene and protein levels. The production of pro-inflammatory molecules by IL-32 was increased by recombinant TSLP. Interestingly, both NF-κB (quinazoline) and caspase-1 (VX-765) inhibitors suppressed the IL-32-related upregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNFα and IL-6). These findings demonstrate that IL-32 and IL-32-induced-TSLP are critical cytokines that participate in inflammatory responses through the caspase-1 and NF-κB signalling pathways in the corneal epithelium, suggesting new molecular targets for inflammatory diseases of the ocular surface. The effects of IL-32 on cell proliferation and apoptosis were investigated by MTT assays and RT-PCR,respectively. The results demonstrated that IL-32 inhibits cells apoptosis in HCECs.