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Phenylephrine induces necroptosis and apoptosis in corneal epithelial cells dose- and time-dependently

You, Xin-Guo, Fan, Ting-Jun, Jiang, Guo-Jian
Toxicology 2019 v.428 pp. 152305
DNA fragmentation, New Zealand White rabbit, agonists, alpha-1 adrenergic receptors, apoptosis, caspase-2, caspase-8, cell viability, chromatin, cornea, cytochrome c, cytosol, epithelial cells, epithelium, gene expression regulation, humans, interphase, membrane permeability, models, necroptosis, phenylephrine, phosphatidylserines, plasma membrane, rabbits, signal transduction, toxicity
In the present study, the toxicity of phenylephrine, a selective α1-adrenergic receptor agonist, in corneal epithelial cells and its underlying mechanisms were investigated using an in vitro model of human corneal epithelial cells (HCEPCs) and an in vivo model of New Zealand white rabbit corneas. The HCEPCs treated with phenylephrine at concentrations from 10% to 0.078125% displayed abnormal morphology, decline of cell viability and elevation of plasma membrane permeability time- and dose-dependently. Moreover, 10%–1.25% phenylephrine induce necrosis characteristics of marginalization and uneven distribution of chromatin through up-regulation of RIPK1, RIPK3 and MLKL along with inactivation of caspase-8 and caspase-2, whereas 0.625% phenylephrine induced condensed chromatin, S phase arrest, phosphatidylserine externalization, DNA fragmentation and apoptotic body formation in the HCECs through activation of caspase-2, -8, -9 and -3 as well as down-regulation of Bcl-2, up-regulation of Bad, ΔΨm disruption and release of cytochrome c and AIF into cytosol. At last, 10% phenylephrine induced destruction of the corneal epithelia and apoptosis of corneal epithelial cells in rabbit corneas. In conclusion, 10% to 1.25% phenylephrine cause necroptosis via RIPK1-RIPK3-MLKL axis and 0.625% phenylephrine induce apoptosis via a mitochondrion-dependent and death receptor-mediated signal pathway in HCEPCs.