Prolonged exposure to high glucose impaired cellular behavior of normal human corneal epithelial cells

Curr Eye Res. 2003 Oct;27(4):197-203. doi: 10.1076/ceyr.


Purpose: To determine the effect of prolonged exposure to high glucose on cellular behavior of normal human corneal epithelial cells (HCEC).

Methods: HCEC were cultured in medium under normal or high glucose conditions for 14 days. Proliferation was evaluated by direct cell counting and [(3)H]thymidine incorporation. Cell cycle analysis was performed using flow cytometry. The ability of HCEC to attach to type I collagen was evaluated using a short-term colorimetric adhesion assay. The effect of high glucose on the expression of integrin alpha(3)beta(1) was also evaluated using flow cytometry.

Results: Cell number and [(3)H]thymidine incorporation under high glucose conditions decreased compared with those under normal glucose conditions. The cells exposed to high glucose were G(0)/G(1) than untreated cells. The adhesion ability of HCEC under high glucose conditions decreased compared to normal glucose conditions. Expression of integrin alpha( 3)beta(1) was down-regulated under high glucose conditions.

Conclusions: High glucose had deleterious effects on cellular behavior of HCEC, which might cause delayed corneal epithelial wound healing in diabetic keratopathy.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies / pharmacology
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Down-Regulation
  • Epithelium, Corneal / cytology
  • Epithelium, Corneal / drug effects*
  • Epithelium, Corneal / metabolism
  • Epithelium, Corneal / physiology*
  • G1 Phase / drug effects
  • Glucose / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Integrin alpha3beta1 / immunology
  • Integrin alpha3beta1 / metabolism
  • Reference Values
  • Resting Phase, Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Thymidine / metabolism


  • Antibodies
  • Integrin alpha3beta1
  • Glucose
  • Thymidine