Joel E Schechter

University of Southern California, Los Ángeles, California, United States

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Publications (72)212.19 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Lacrimal glands of people over 40 years old frequently contain lymphocytic infiltrates. Relationships between histopathological presentation and physiological dysfunction are not straightforward. Data from rabbit studies have suggested that at least two immune cell networks form in healthy lacrimal glands, one responding to environmental dryness, the other to high temperatures. New findings indicate that mRNAs for several chemokines and cytokines are expressed primarily in epithelial cells; certain others are expressed in both epithelial cells and immune cells. Transcript abundances vary substantially across glands from animals that have experienced the same conditions, allowing for correlation analyses, which detect clusters that map to various cell types and to networks of coordinately functioning cells. A core network-expressing mRNAs including IL-1α, IL-6, IL-17A, and IL-10-expands adaptively with exposure to dryness, suppressing IFN-γ, but potentially causing physiological dysfunction. High temperature elicits concurrent increases of mRNAs for prolactin (PRL), CCL21, and IL-18. PRL is associated with crosstalk to IFN-γ, BAFF, and IL-4. The core network reacts to the resulting PRL-BAFF-IL-4 network, creating a profile reminiscent of Sjögren's disease. In a warmer, moderately dry setting, PRL-associated increases of IFN-γ are associated with suppression of IL-10 and augmentations of IL-1α and IL-17, creating a profile reminiscent of severe chronic inflammation. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    The ocular surface 01/2015; 13(1):47-81. DOI:10.1016/j.jtos.2014.06.003 · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autologous peripheral blood lymphocytes, activated in a mixed cell reaction when cocultured with purified rabbit lacrimal epithelial cells, are known to induce a severe autoimmune dacryoadenitis when injected directly into the donor animal's remaining inferior lacrimal gland (LG) or subcutaneously at a site remote from the LG. The purpose of the present study was to determine the ability of intravenously (IV) injected autologous stimulated lymphocytes to home to the LG and salivary gland (SG) and induce disease. One inferior LG was surgically excised from each rabbit. Acinar epithelial cells were purified, cultured for 2 days, gamma-irradiated, and cocultured for 5 days with purified autologous peripheral blood lymphocytes. The activated lymphocytes were used for autoadoptive transfer. Tear production was reduced 50% by 4 weeks and tear breakup time was 70% less than normal. Ocular surface defects assessed by rose bengal staining were present but not as pronounced as after direct injection. Four weeks after IV injection, as after direct injection, glands contained large infiltrates composed of predominantly CD4(+) T cells close to interlobular and intralobular ducts; however, they also contained unique areas of streaming lymphocytes. Histopathology at 8 weeks was more severe than at 4 weeks, and SG also showed clusters of abnormal epithelial cells and streaming lymphocytes. Lymphocytes activated against lacrimal antigens and injected IV can home to the LG and SG and initiate autoimmune processes, suggesting that these sites constitutively contain not only antigen-presenting cells displaying potentially pathogenic autoantigen epitopes but also chemokines and homing molecules that recruit CD4(+) T cells. This new rabbit model more closely mimics Sjögren syndrome, in that SG manifestations accompany the LG disease. It should be well suited to elucidating Sjögren pathogenesis and pathophysiology and to evaluating experimental therapies.
    Cornea 02/2012; 31(6):693-701. DOI:10.1097/ICO.0b013e31823f8e47 · 2.04 Impact Factor
  • Joel Schechter ·

    Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges 09/2011; 86(9):1099. DOI:10.1097/ACM.0b013e3182263eb6 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tear proteins are supplied by the regulated fusion of secretory vesicles at the apical surface of lacrimal gland acinar cells, utilizing trafficking mechanisms largely yet uncharacterized. We investigated the role of Rab27b in the terminal release of these secretory vesicles. Confocal fluorescence microscopy analysis of primary cultured rabbit lacrimal gland acinar cells revealed that Rab27b was enriched on the membrane of large subapical vesicles that were significantly colocalized with Rab3D and Myosin 5C. Stimulation of cultured acinar cells with the secretagogue carbachol resulted in apical fusion of these secretory vesicles with the plasma membrane. Evaluation of morphological changes by transmission electron microscopy of lacrimal glands from Rab27b(-/-) and Rab27(ash/ash)/Rab27b(-/-) mice, but not ashen mice deficient in Rab27a, showed changes in abundance and organization of secretory vesicles, further confirming a role for this protein in secretory vesicle exocytosis. Glands lacking Rab27b also showed increased lysosomes, damaged mitochondria, and autophagosome-like organelles. In vitro, expression of constitutively active Rab27b increased the average size but retained the subapical distribution of Rab27b-enriched secretory vesicles, whereas dominant-negative Rab27b redistributed this protein from membrane to the cytoplasm. Functional studies measuring release of a cotransduced secretory protein, syncollin-GFP, showed that constitutively active Rab27b enhanced, whereas dominant-negative Rab27b suppressed, stimulated release. Disruption of actin filaments inhibited vesicle fusion to the apical membrane but did not disrupt homotypic fusion. These data show that Rab27b participates in aspects of lacrimal gland acinar cell secretory vesicle formation and release.
    AJP Cell Physiology 04/2011; 301(2):C507-21. DOI:10.1152/ajpcell.00355.2010 · 3.78 Impact Factor
  • A K Mircheff · Y Wang · P B Thomas · T Nakamura · D Samant · M D Trousdale · D W Warren · C Ding · J E Schechter ·
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    ABSTRACT: Retrospective analyses were undertaken to assess the hypothesis that environmental variables influenced immunophysiological status of lacrimal glands from untreated female rabbits that had been housed out-of-doors until they were acquired for use as controls for experimental studies. Rabbits were euthanized within 5 days of arrival at University Vivaria. Glands were divided for histology and RNA extraction. Transcript abundances were determined with real time RT-PCR. Sections were stained for CD18 and rabbit thymic lymphocyte antigen. Environmental variables assessed were mean daily high temperature, low humidity, high temperature/low humidity ratio, and days with above average temperature/humidity ratio ("adverse days") during the prior 30 days. Results: Spearman's analyses revealed numerous significant correlations. Numbers of T cells and abundances of mRNAs for CD8; CCL2, and CCL4; IL-1α and IL-1β; the T(H)1 cytokine, IL-2; and the T(H)2- and B cell cytokines, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, APRIL, and BAFF, all increased with adverse days, while IFN-γ mRNA abundance decreased. Glands from the group exposed to the most adverse days remained free of immunopathological lesions. Glands from the group exposed to the highest temperatures fell above the regression curves for IL-4, APRIL, and BAFF calculated for the other groups and had significantly higher abundances of mRNAs for prolactin, IL-18, CCL21, CCL28, CXCL8, and CXCL13. One of six glands from this group contained small immune cell aggregates; the others appeared normal. The only gland that presented with frank histopathology was from a group that had experienced benign conditions. Increasing adverse days correlated with increasing abundances of transcripts, including mRNAs for IL-2, IL-10, and CD8, outside the T(H)1/T(H)2 paradigm. The findings raise intriguing questions as to whether and how such changes might be associated with homeostatic phenomena.
    Current eye research 04/2011; 36(4):285-94. DOI:10.3109/02713683.2010.550408 · 1.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To test whether CD4+ T cells proliferate in mixed cell reactions with autologous lacrimal gland (LG) acinar cells and whether these cells can autoadoptively transfer disease. Purified acinar cells were gamma irradiated and cocultured with peripheral blood lymphocytes. Activated CD4+ T cells were sorted by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). Unfractionated activated peripheral blood lymphocytes (UF), CD4+-enriched and CD4+-depleted T cells from an autologous mixed cell reaction were injected into the donor rabbit's remaining LG. After 4 weeks, ocular examinations were performed, and the rabbits were euthanized; LGs were removed for histopathology, immunohistochemistry, and real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction studies. CD4 T cells increased in the autologous mixed cell reaction from 20% to 80%. Tear production decreased in the induced disease/UF (ID/UF) group and declined even more in the ID/CD4+-enriched group. Tear breakup times decreased and rose bengal staining increased in all groups. All LGs exhibited significant histopathology and increased messenger RNAs for tumor necrosis factor α. The ID/UF group exhibited the largest increases of CD4+ and rabbit T-lymphocyte antigen-positive cells. The ID/CD4+-enriched group contained fewer infiltrating CD4 cells but more eosinophils, severely altered acinar morphology, and increased fibrosis. LG of the ID/CD4+-depleted group exhibited large increases of CD18, major histocompatibility complex II, and CD4+ cells. Messenger RNAs for interleukin 2, interleukin 4, and CD4+ increased in the ID/CD4+-enriched group compared with the CD4+-depleted group. Autoreactive CD4+ effector cells activated ex vivo and autoadoptively transferred, caused what seems to be a distinct dacryoadenitis. The CD4+-depleted cell fraction also contained pathogenic effector cells capable of inducing disease.
    Cornea 10/2010; 29(10):1153-62. DOI:10.1097/ICO.0b013e3181d0090e · 2.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effect of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector-mediated viral (v)IL-10 gene expression on lacrimal gland (LG) immunopathology and ocular surface disease in a rabbit model of induced autoimmune dacryoadenitis (ID). Autologous peripheral blood lymphocytes, activated in a mixed-cell reaction when cocultured with purified rabbit lacrimal epithelial cells, induce a Sjögren's-like autoimmune dacryoadenitis when injected directly back into the donor animal's inferior LG. Four weeks after disease induction, AAV vector expressing the vIL-10 gene under control of a tetracycline-inducible promoter was injected into the inferior LG of the treatment group (ID/Rx), and doxycycline was fed orally to induce transgene expression. The ID group serving as control also received doxycycline. All LGs were removed 16 weeks after disease induction. Clinical symptoms showed overall improvement in the ID/Rx group compared with the ID group. Histopathologic examination of the ID group's LG revealed scattered large lymphocytic foci and areas of altered or distorted acini, whereas the ID/Rx group had scattered small lymphocytic foci. The number of CD18(+) cells was almost fivefold lower in the ID/Rx group than in the ID group. Although the total number of RTLA(+) cells did not differ between the groups, the CD4/CD8 ratio was 16-fold smaller in the ID/Rx group. Animals with experimentally induced autoimmune dacryoadenitis appeared to benefit from AAV-mediated vIL-10 gene transfer therapy. Quantitative immunohistochemical analysis suggested that the therapy might not have been simply immunosuppressive but rather supported the induction of CD8(+) regulatory cells.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 10/2010; 51(10):5137-44. DOI:10.1167/iovs.10-5423 · 3.40 Impact Factor
  • Joel E Schechter · Dwight W Warren · Austin K Mircheff ·
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    ABSTRACT: Research into the physiological processes governing both normal and abnormal functions of the lacrimal gland has used animal models to provide insights that might be applied to improving our understanding of human disease and designing of beneficial therapeutic interventions. Animal models most frequently used are mice, rats, and rabbits. As participants in research into normal and abnormal lacrimal gland function, the authors have observed significant differences between the various animal models, and these differences must be considered in investigational studies. This review summarizes a wide range of topics, including structural organization of the lacrimal gland and the immunological, secretomotor and hormonal processes regulating lacrimal gland function in all three animal models. In addition, comparisons with relevant aspects of the human lacrimal gland are included where permitted by available data.
    The ocular surface 07/2010; 8(3):111-34. DOI:10.1016/S1542-0124(12)70222-7 · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    M de Saint Jean · T Nakamura · Y Wang · M D Trousdale · J E Schechter · A K Mircheff ·
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    ABSTRACT: Lacrimal epithelial cells appear to constitutively secrete autoantigens to their underling stroma. The present experiments address the hypothesis that they also secrete soluble factors that regulate immune responses. Epithelial cells, spleen cells and lymphocytes were obtained from rabbits or rats and cultured in various configurations. Monocytes from rat bone marrow were matured to dendritic cells (DC) ex vivo. Proliferation was measured by [3H]-thymidine incorporation; surface MHC Class II and CD86 using flow cytometry; and mRNA relative abundances using real time RT-PCR. Microporous culture inserts containing rat lacrimal cells inhibited proliferation of rabbit lymphocytes co-cultured with autologous lacrimal cells and of rat lymphocytes co-cultured with TNF-alpha-stimulated DC. They inhibited CD86 and MHC Class II surface expression by maturating DC and reversed surface expression of CD86 but not MHC Class II by partially matured DC. Subsequent exposure of partially matured DC to mediators from rat lacrimal cells reversed the ability to stimulate lymphocyte proliferation. TGF-beta(1) and IL-10 mRNAs increased somewhat when rat lacrimal cells were isolated but decreased markedly in rabbit lacrimal cells. Antibodies to TGF-beta prevented soluble factors from rat lacrimal cells from inhibiting proliferation of rabbit lymphocytes co-cultured with rabbit lacrimal cells, but recombinant TGF-beta alone did not mimic the soluble factors. IL-10 immunopositivity was detected in epithelial cells of interlobular ducts and occasional interstitial cells in rabbit lacrimal gland. Rat lacrimal epithelial cells secrete TGF-beta and other factors that synergize to suppress lymphocyte proliferation and regulate DC maturation. Interlobular duct epithelial cells in rabbit lacrimal glands may express similar functions.
    Scandinavian Journal of Immunology 08/2009; 70(1):53-62. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-3083.2009.02272.x · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To use a rabbit model of induced autoimmune dacryoadenitis to evaluate the efficacy of topical ophthalmic cyclosporine A (CsA). Autoimmune dacryoadenitis was induced by injecting autologous peripheral blood lymphocytes, which had been activated in a mixed cell reaction with acinar cells isolated from one inferior lacrimal gland (LG), back into the donor animal's remaining inferior LG. Schirmer's test, tear breakup time, and rose Bengal staining were assessed. Animals with established disease were treated topically with either CsA or Endura twice daily for 5 months. Without treatment tear production and tear stability were abnormal for 6 months, and clear signs of ocular surface defects were evident. Severe immune cell infiltration was observed in the LG. Long-term CsA treatment increased tear production only slightly, but the severity of LG histopathology decreased noticeably. CD4(+) T-cell infiltration of the LG was decreased and infiltration by MHC class II-expressing cells was also decreased. For the Endura-treated group tear production did not improve, rose Bengal scores remained high, and histopathology showed infiltration comparable to the untreated group, but by the end of the study the tear breakup time did improve. The rabbit model of autoimmune dacryoadenitis had signs of chronic dry eye disease 6 months after induction of disease. Tear production improved slightly with CsA treatment and CD4(+) T-cell infiltration decreased significantly in the LG. This suggests that some Sjögren's patients may benefit from long-term CsA treatment.
    Journal of ocular pharmacology and therapeutics: the official journal of the Association for Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics 07/2009; 25(3):285-92. DOI:10.1089/jop.2008.0138 · 1.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lacrimal immunohistopathology has diverse clinical presentations, suggesting that inflammatory mediators exert diverse influences. Chronic exposure to agonistic acetylcholine receptor autoantibodies has been studied previously; the present work addressed mediators that signal through other G protein-coupled receptors. Acinus-like structures and reconstituted acinar epithelial monolayers from rabbit lacrimal glands were exposed to varying concentrations of histamine or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) for 20 hours. Net and vectorial beta-hexosaminidase secretion, cytosolic Ca(2+) (Ca(i)) elevation, apical recruitment of p150(Glued), actin microfilament meshwork organization, and ultrastructure were assessed. Histamine and 5-HT acutely stimulated beta-hexosaminidase secretion at lower, but not higher, concentrations. Neither of them acutely elevated Ca(i) levels. Both recruited p150(Glued) at concentrations that failed to induce secretion. Chronic exposure to 10 mM histamine inhibited carbachol (CCh)-induced beta-hexosaminidase secretion and prevented the formation of continuous monolayers; 1 mM 5-HT partially inhibited secretion at the apical medium. Neither altered secretion to the basal medium. Chronic exposure to histamine or 5-HT partially decreased CCh induced Ca(i) elevations and p150(Glued) recruitment, even at concentrations that did not inhibit secretion. Both expanded acinar lumina and thickened microfilament meshworks, and both caused homotypic fusion of secretory vesicles and formation of aqueous vacuoles in the apical and basal cytoplasm. Chronic exposure to forskolin, which activates adenylyl cyclase, induced similar cytopathologic changes but impaired secretion modestly and only at the highest concentration tested. Inflammatory mediators that signal through G protein-coupled receptors cause acinar cell cytopathology and dose-dependent reductions of CCh-induced beta-hexosaminidase secretion. Although agonistic acetylcholine receptor autoantibodies may cause pervasive functional quiescence, inflammatory mediators may cause varying degrees of exocrine dysfunction.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 04/2009; 50(7):3164-75. DOI:10.1167/iovs.08-2768 · 3.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: With the eventual goal of developing a tissue-engineered tear secretory system, we found that primary lacrimal gland acinar cells grown on solid poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) supports expressed the best histiotypic morphology. However, to be able to perform vectorial transport functions, epithelia must be supported by a permeable substratum. In the present study, we describe the use of a solvent-cast/particulate leaching technique to fabricate microporous PLLA membranes (mpPLLAm) from PLLA/polyethylene glycol blends. Scanning electron microscopy revealed pores on both the air-cured ( approximately 4 microm) and glass-cured sides (<2 microm) of the mpPLLAm. Diffusion studies were performed with mpPLLAm fabricated from 57.1% PLLA/42.9% polyethylene glycol blends to confirm the presence of channelized pores. The data reveal that glucose, L-tryptophan, and dextran (a high molecular weight glucose polymer) readily permeate mpPLLAm. Diffusion of the immunoglobulin G through the mpPLLAm decreased with time, suggesting the possible adsorption and occlusion of the pores. Cells cultured on the mpPLLAm (57.1/42.9 wt%) grew to subconfluent monolayers but retained histiotypic morphological and physiological characteristics of lacrimal acinar cells in vivo. Our results suggest that mpPLLAm fabricated using this technique may be useful as a scaffold for a bioartificial lacrimal gland device.
    Tissue Engineering Part C Methods 02/2009; 15(3):463-74. DOI:10.1089/ten.tec.2008.0431 · 4.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the role of the actin-based myosin motor, myosin 5c (Myo5c) in vesicle transport in exocrine secretion. Lacrimal gland acinar cells (LGAC) are the major source for the regulated secretion of proteins from the lacrimal gland into the tear film. Confocal fluorescence and immunogold electron microscopy revealed that Myo5c was associated with secretory vesicles in primary rabbit LGAC. Upon stimulation of secretion with the muscarinic agonist, carbachol, Myo5c was also detected in association with actin-coated fusion intermediates. Adenovirus-mediated expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) fused to the tail domain of Myo5c (Ad-GFP-Myo5c-tail) showed that this protein was localized to secretory vesicles. Furthermore, its expression induced a significant (P < or = 0.05) decrease in carbachol-stimulated release of two secretory vesicle content markers, secretory component and syncollin-GFP. Adenovirus-mediated expression of GFP appended to the full-length Myo5c (Ad-GFP-Myo5c-full) was used in parallel with adenovirus-mediated expression of GFP-Myo5c-tail in LGAC to compare various parameters of secretory vesicles labeled with either GFP-labeled protein in resting and stimulated LGAC. These studies revealed that the carbachol-stimulated increase in secretory vesicle diameter associated with compound fusion of secretory vesicles that was also exhibited by vesicles labeled with GFP-Myo5c-full was impaired in vesicles labeled with GFP-Myo5c-tail. A significant decrease in GFP labeling of actin-coated fusion intermediates was also seen in carbachol-stimulated LGAC transduced with GFP-Myo5c-tail relative to LGAC transduced with GFP-Myo5c-full. These results suggest that Myo5c participates in apical exocytosis of secretory vesicles.
    AJP Cell Physiology 07/2008; 295(1):C13-28. DOI:10.1152/ajpcell.00330.2007 · 3.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autologous peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL), activated in a mixed cell reaction when co-cultured with purified rabbit lacrimal epithelial cells, are known to induce a Sjögren's-like autoimmune dacryoadenitis and keratoconjunctivitis when injected directly back into the donor animal's inferior lacrimal gland (LG). This study shows that autoreactive lymphocytes injected subcutaneously in a site away from the LG is capable of inducing an autoimmune disease in a rabbit. Induced disease (ID) develops more slowly, taking 4weeks as compared to 2weeks in the direct injection model. Initially, both clinical symptoms and histopathology are less pronounced than in the direct injection ID model, but later the immunocytochemistry shows the same CD4+/CD8+ ratio of 4:1 for both injection methods. The finding that lymphocytes activated against lacrimal antigens can travel or home from the injection site back to the inferior and superior LG, as well as the conjunctiva, suggests that these anatomical sites may have common epitopes that induce pathogenic CD4+ T cells that produce a Sjögren's-like syndrome.
    Journal of Autoimmunity 07/2008; 31(2):116-22. DOI:10.1016/j.jaut.2008.04.019 · 8.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To develop a local approach to study rabbit lacrimal secretion in situ by administering specific secretagogues directly onto the lacrimal gland (LG). After the rabbit has been anesthetized, the inferior bulbar conjunctiva and underlying connective tissue are blunt dissected. A polyethylene tube, for drug delivery, is inserted through the fibrous membrane overlying the inferior surface of the orbital cavity beneath which the LG resides. Lacrimal fluid is collected by cannulating the lacrimal duct. Pilocarpine induced robust lacrimal fluid secretion from the LG that had been bathed with either pilocarpine or phenylephrine, with no detectable effect on the contralateral LG and salivary secretion. By next giving pilocarpine or phenylephrine to the control LG while the experimental gland used before served as control, we duplicated the results exactly. This novel approach avoids the unwanted systemic effects of intravenous injection and is a promising technique to study rabbit LG secretion in situ.
    Ophthalmic Research 02/2008; 40(1):49-52. DOI:10.1159/000111159 · 1.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The rabbit lacrimal gland undergoes an immunophysiological transformation during pregnancy, reminiscent of that of the mammary gland as it prepares to deliver secretory IgA into the nascent fluid product. The contents of TGF-beta and prolactin (PRL) within ductal epithelial cells increase, and their primary localizations shift from the apical to the basal cytoplasm, suggesting a transformation from exocrine to paracrine secretion. Studies with ex vivo acinar cell models demonstrated that elevated PRL suppresses traffic of secretory proteins into the regulated exocrine apparatus and directs them into a novel, induced, regulated paracrine apparatus [Wang, Y., Chiu, C.T., Nakamura, T., Walker, A.M., Petridou, B., Trousdale M.D., Hamm-Alvarez S.F., Schechter J.E., Mircheff A.K., 2007. Elevated prolactin redirects secretory vesicle traffic in rabbit lacrimal acinar cells. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 292, E1122-E1134]. However, it was not clear whether PRL itself entered the induced paracrine apparatus. In the present study, confocal immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that natively expressed PRL and over-expressed PRL co-localized with PRL receptors (PRLR); rab11, a marker for the recycling endosome; gamma-adaptin, a marker for the Golgi complex and trans-Golgi network; and rab7, a marker for the autophagic lysosomal apparatus. Natively expressed, over-expressed, and endocytosed PRL also co-localized with rab4 and rab5A, markers for the early endosome, and with rab3D, a marker for regulated exocrine secretory vesicles. Endocytosed PRL was stored in intact form and released in response to stimulation with carbachol. Subcellular fractionation analysis detected relative excesses of PRL over PRLR in fractions that contained fragments of the recycling endosome and fractions that contained both secretory vesicle fragments and prelysosomal and autolysosomal fragments. EM-gold microscopy demonstrated PRL within small vesicles, consistent with endosomes or secondary lysosomes, and in large vesicles, consistent with regulated secretory vesicles. The secretory vesicles were preponderantly localized in the apical cytoplasm of control cells, and in the basal cytoplasm of PRL over-expressing cells. These results indicate that when lacrimal epithelial cells synthesize PRL, and when they endocytose it from their ambient medium, they traffic it both into the endosomes that constitute the constitutive transcytotic paracrine apparatus and also into regulated secretory vesicles, which are associated with the exocrine apparatus at low PRL levels and with the induced paracrine apparatus at high PRL levels.
    Experimental Eye Research 01/2008; 85(6):749-61. DOI:10.1016/j.exer.2007.08.009 · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In our quest to develop a tissue-engineered tear secretory system, we have tried to demonstrate active transepithelial ion fluxes across rabbit lacrimal acinar cell monolayers on polyester membrane scaffolds to evaluate the bioelectrical properties of the cultured cells. Purified lacrimal gland acinar cells were seeded onto polyester membrane inserts and cultured to confluency. Morphological properties of the cell monolayers were evaluated by transmission electron microscopy and immunofluorescence staining for Na(+),K(+)-ATPase and the tight junction-associated protein occludin. Sections revealed cell monolayers with well-maintained epithelial cell polarity, i.e., presence of apical (AP) secretory granules, microvilli, and junctional complexes. Na(+),K(+)-ATPase was localized on both the basal-lateral and apical plasma membranes. The presence of tight cell junctions was demonstrated by a positive circumferential stain for occludin. Bioelectrical properties of the cell monolayers were studied in Ussing chambers under short-circuit conditions. Active ion fluxes were evaluated by inhibiting the short-circuit current (I(sc)) with a Na(+),K(+)-ATPase inhibitor, ouabain (100 microM; basal-lateral, BL), and under Cl(-)-free buffer conditions after carbachol stimulation (CCh; 100 microM). The directional apical secretion of Cl(-) was demonstrated through pharmacological analysis, using amiloride (1 mM; BL) and bumetanide (0.1 mM; BL), respectively. Regulated protein secretion was evaluated by measuring the beta-hexosaminidase catalytic activity in the AP culture medium in response to 100 microM basal CCh. In summary, rabbit lacrimal acinar cell monolayers generate a Cl(-)-dependent, ouabain-sensitive AP --> BL I(sc) in response to CCh, consistent with current models for Na(+)-dependent Cl(-) secretion.
    AJP Cell Physiology 10/2007; 293(4):C1412-9. DOI:10.1152/ajpcell.00200.2007 · 3.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During pregnancy, lymphocytes infiltrating the rabbit lacrimal gland disperse to the interacinar space from their normal focal concentrations, basal fluid secretion decreases, pilocarpine-induced fluid secretion increases, and stimulated fluid protein concentration decreases. Ductal epithelial cell prolactin (PRL) content increases and redistributes from the apical to the basal-lateral cytoplasm. A replication-incompetent adenovirus vector for rabbit PRL (AdPRL) was used to test the hypothesis that increased intracrine/autocrine PRL signaling alters secretory protein traffic in an ex vivo lacrimal acinar cell model. AdPRL had no discernable influence on microtubules or actin microfilaments or their responses to carbachol (CCh). Endogenous and transduced PRLs exhibited similar, nonpolarized, punctate distributions. Cells secreted PRL consititutively and at increased rates in response to CCh. In contrast, constitutive secretion of beta-hexosaminidase was negligible, suggesting that the constitutive pathway for PRL is relatively inaccessible to typical secretory proteins. AdPRL had no significant effect on total secretion of beta-hexosaminidase or syncollin-green fluorescent protein (GFP), a chimeric secretory protein construct. However, it reversed the polarized distributions of vesicles containing rab3D and syncollin-GFP. Live-cell imaging indicated that AdPRL redirected CCh-dependent syncollin-GFP exocytosis from the apical plasma membrane to the basal-lateral membrane. Elevated concentrations of exogenous rabbit PRL in the ambient medium elicited similar changes. These observations suggest that elevated PRL, as occurs in the physiological hyperprolactinemia of pregnancy, induces lacrimal epithelial cells to express a mixed exocrine/endocrine phenotype that secretes fluid to the acinus-duct lumen but secretes proteins to the underlying tissue space. This phenotype may contribute to the pregnancy-associated immunoarchitecture.
    AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 05/2007; 292(4):E1122-34. DOI:10.1152/ajpendo.00381.2006 · 3.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dry eye is a general term that refers to a myriad of ophthalmic disorders resulting in the inadequate wetting of the corneal surface by the tear film. Dry eyes are typically treated by the application of artificial tears. However, patients with lacrimal insufficiencies such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, chemical and thermal injuries, or ocular cicatricial pemphigoid have very limited options because of the short duration and action of lubricating agents. As a therapeutic strategy, we are working to develop a bioengineered tear secretory system for such patients. This article describes the growth and physiological properties of purified rabbit lacrimal gland acinar cells (pLGACs) on several matrix protein-coated polymers such as silicone, collagen I, copolymers of poly-D,L-lactide-co-glycolide (PLGA; 85:15 and 50:50), poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), and Thermanox plastic cell culture coverslips. Monolayers of acinar cells were established on all of the polymeric substrata. An assay of beta-hexosaminidase activity in the supernatant medium showed significant increases in protein secretion, following stimulation with 100 microM carbachol on matrix protein-coated and uncoated polymers such as silicone, PLGA 85:15, and PLLA. Our study demonstrates that PLLA supported the morphological and physiological properties of purified rabbit lacrimal gland epithelial cells more successfully than the others.
    Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B Applied Biomaterials 01/2007; 80(1):192-200. DOI:10.1002/jbm.b.30584 · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gene delivery is one of the biggest challenges in the field of gene therapy. It involves the efficient transfer of transgenes into somatic cells for therapeutic purposes. A few major drawbacks in gene delivery include inefficient gene transfer and lack of sustained transgene expression. However, the classical method of using viral vectors for gene transfer has circumvented some of these issues. Several kinds of viruses, including retrovirus, adenovirus, adeno-associated virus, and herpes simplex virus, have been manipulated for use in gene transfer and gene therapy applications. The transfer of genetic material into lacrimal epithelial cells and tissues, both in vitro and in vivo, has been critical for the study of tear secretory mechanisms and autoimmunity of the lacrimal gland. These studies will help in the development of therapeutic interventions for autoimmune disorders such as Sjögren's syndrome and dry eye syndromes which are associated with lacrimal dysfunction. These studies are also critical for future endeavors which utilize the lacrimal gland as a reservoir for the production of therapeutic factors which can be released in tears, providing treatment for diseases of the cornea and posterior segment. This review will discuss the developments related to gene delivery and gene therapy in the lacrimal gland using several viral vector systems.
    Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews 12/2006; 58(11):1243-57. DOI:10.1016/j.addr.2006.07.021 · 15.04 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
212.19 Total Impact Points


  • 1977-2015
    • University of Southern California
      • • Department of Cell and Neurobiology
      • • Doheny Eye Institute
      • • Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Biological Sciences
      Los Ángeles, California, United States
  • 2008-2010
    • Ocular Surface Center
      Miami, Florida, United States
  • 2006-2010
    • Doheny Eye Institute
      Los Angeles, California, United States
  • 2005-2009
    • Keck School of Medicine USC
      Los Ángeles, California, United States
    • Emory University
      Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • 2007
    • University of California, Riverside
      Riverside, California, United States
  • 2002-2003
    • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany
  • 1991-2003
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • • Department of Ophthalmology
      • • Department of Neurobiology
      Los Ángeles, California, United States
  • 1995
    • University of California, San Diego
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 1982
    • University of Rochester
      Rochester, New York, United States