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    Role of VIP and Sonic Hedgehog Signaling Pathways in Mediating Epithelial Wound Healing, Sensory Nerve Regeneration, and Their Defects in Diabetic Corneas. Zhang Yangyang,Gao Nan,Wu Lin,Lee Patrick S Y,Me Rao,Dai Chenyang,Xie Lixin,Yu Fu-Shin X Diabetes Diabetic keratopathy, a sight-threatening corneal disease, comprises several symptomatic conditions including delayed epithelial wound healing, recurrent erosions, and sensory nerve (SN) neuropathy. We investigated the role of neuropeptides in mediating corneal wound healing, including epithelial wound closure and SN regeneration. Denervation by resiniferatoxin severely impaired corneal wound healing and markedly upregulated proinflammatory gene expression. Exogenous neuropeptides calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), substance P (SP), and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) partially reversed resiniferatoxin's effects, with VIP specifically inducing interleukin-10 expression. Hence, we focused on VIP and observed that wounding induced VIP and VIP type 1 receptor (VIPR1) expression in normal (NL) corneas, but not corneas from mice with diabetes mellitus (DM). Targeting VIPR1 in NL corneas attenuated corneal wound healing, dampened wound-induced expression of neurotrophic factors, and exacerbated inflammatory responses, while exogenous VIP had the opposite effects in DM corneas. Remarkably, wounding and diabetes also affected the expression of Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) in a VIP-dependent manner. Downregulating Shh expression in NL corneas decreased while exogenous Shh in DM corneas increased the rates of corneal wound healing. Furthermore, inhibition of Shh signaling dampened VIP-promoted corneal wound healing. We conclude that VIP regulates epithelial wound healing, inflammatory response, and nerve regeneration in the corneas in an Shh-dependent manner, suggesting a therapeutic potential for these molecules in treating diabetic keratopathy. 10.2337/db19-0870
    The impact of sensory neuropathy and inflammation on epithelial wound healing in diabetic corneas. Yu Fu-Shin X,Lee Patrick S Y,Yang Lingling,Gao Nan,Zhang Yangyang,Ljubimov Alexander V,Yang Ellen,Zhou Qingjun,Xie Lixin Progress in retinal and eye research Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is the most common complication of diabetes, with several underlying pathophysiological mechanisms, some of which are still uncertain. The cornea is an avascular tissue and sensitive to hyperglycemia, resulting in several diabetic corneal complications including delayed epithelial wound healing, recurrent erosions, neuropathy, loss of sensitivity, and tear film changes. The manifestation of DPN in the cornea is referred to as diabetic neurotrophic keratopathy (DNK). Recent studies have revealed that disturbed epithelial-neural-immune cell interactions are a major cause of DNK. The epithelium is supplied by a dense network of sensory nerve endings and dendritic cell processes, and it secretes growth/neurotrophic factors and cytokines to nourish these neighboring cells. In turn, sensory nerve endings release neuropeptides to suppress inflammation and promote epithelial wound healing, while resident immune cells provide neurotrophic and growth factors to support neuronal and epithelial cells, respectively. Diabetes greatly perturbs these interdependencies, resulting in suppressed epithelial proliferation, sensory neuropathy, and a decreased density of dendritic cells. Clinically, this results in a markedly delayed wound healing and impaired sensory nerve regeneration in response to insult and injury. Current treatments for DPN and DNK largely focus on managing the severe complications of the disease. Cell-based therapies hold promise for providing more effective treatment for diabetic keratopathy and corneal ulcers. 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2021.101039