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.