Thymosin beta4 promotes human conjunctival epithelial cell migration

Curr Eye Res. 2002 Apr;24(4):268-73. doi: 10.1076/ceyr.


Purpose: In this study the effects of thymosin beta4 (Tbeta4) on migration and production of laminin-5 in the human conjunctival cell line HC0597 was analyzed.

Methods: Boyden chamber assays assessed the ability of Tbeta4 to stimulate in vitro cell migration. Control or Tbeta4-treated cells were processed for immunofluorescence microscopy using antibodies to vinculin or laminin-5. Cell lysates were processed for Western blot and densitometric analysis using antibodies to laminin-5 alpha3 or gamma2 chains.

Results: Tbeta4 stimulated migration in a dose-dependent manner. Focal adhesions present in Tbeta4-treated cells were smaller and more rounded compared to the "streaks" characteristic of controls. Western blot analysis and densitometry revealed that Tbeta4-treated cells expressed more laminin-5 alpha3 and gamma2 chain protein.

Conclusion: Tbeta4 stimulates in vitro conjunctival epithelial cell migration, and results in altered focal adhesion formation and increased extracellular laminin-5 deposition. The increased migration may be correlated with increased production of laminin-5.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Conjunctiva / cytology
  • Conjunctiva / drug effects*
  • Conjunctiva / physiology*
  • Densitometry
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Reference Values
  • Thymosin / administration & dosage
  • Thymosin / pharmacology*


  • thymosin beta(4)
  • Thymosin