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Regulation of neutral proteinase and plasminogen activator secretion by epithelial cells in vitro Hong, Hee Ling


The aim of this thesis was to study the regulation of proteinase secretion by epithelial cells (E-cells) derived from the epithelial cell rests of Malassez. Since these epithelial cell rests are present only in small numbers in-vivo, E-cells derived from porcine cell rests were cultured according to Brunette et al. (1976) and conditions chosen so that detectable amounts of the proteinases, neutral proteinase and plasminogen activator, could be obtained. The regulation of the secretion of these enzymes was investigated by varying the cell population density, adding E.Coli lipopolysaccharide to the cultures and altering the shape of the E-cells by both chemical and physical means. Cell population density modulated both neutral proteinase and plasminogen activator secretion. Neutral proteinase secretion was highest at low cell population densities and the activity decreased with increasing cell population density. Plasminogen activator secretion followed a similar pattern. Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (E.coli LPS) stimulated both neutral proteinase and plasminogen activator secretion. LPS extracted by the phenol method and LPS extracted by the trichloroacetic acid method caused similar increases in neutral proteinase activity but the increase in plasminogen activator activity was greater when the trichloroacetic acid extracted LPS was used. These findings support the proposal that bacterial LPS in contact with periapical tissues could stimulate the epithelial cell rests into increased production of proteinases, thereby contributing to the degradation of connective tissue associated with dental cyst formation. E-cell shape was altered by physical and chemical means. Addition of cholera toxin and dibutyryl cAMP caused E-cells to flatten. Phorbol myristate acetate, however, caused the cells to retract slightly. Mechanical stretching was applied to the cells to cause cell flattening, and cell rounding was effected by mechanical relaxation. Another method made use of E-cells grown on a substrate with V-shaped grooves which caused the cells to adopt a rounder shape more frequently than cells grown on a flat substrate. In addition, dishes coated with increasing concentrations of poly(HEMA) solution, which altered dish adhesivity to the cell, caused the cells to become less well-spread. In all experiments, a more flattened cell shape correlated with a reduced level of neutral proteinase and plasminogen activator secretion while a more rounded shape correlated with increased amounts of neutral proteinase and plasminogen activator secretion.

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