We examined whether absence or blocking of transient receptor potential vanilloid subtype 1 (TRPV1) affects the level of inflammation and fibrosis/scarring during healing of injured tissue using an alkali burn model of cornea in mice. A cornea burn was produced with 1 N NaOH instilled into one eye of TRPV1-/- (KO) (n = 88) or TRPV1+/+ (n = 94) mice. Examinations of the corneal surface and eye globe size suggested that the loss of TRPV1 suppressed inflammation and fibrosis/scarring after alkali burn, and this was confirmed by histology, IHC, and gene expression analysis. The loss of TRPV1 inhibited inflammatory cell invasion and myofibroblast generation in association with reduction of expression of proinflammatory and profibrogenic components. Experiments of bone marrow transplantation between either genotype of mice showed that KO corneal tissue resident cells, but not KO bone marrow-derived cells, are responsible for KO-type wound healing with reduced inflammation and fibrosis. The absence of TRPV1 attenuated expression of transforming growth factor β 1 (TGFβ1) and other proinflammatory gene expression in cultured ocular fibroblasts, but did not affect TGFβ1 expression in macrophages. Loss of TRPV1 inhibited myofibroblast transdifferentiation in cultured fibroblasts. Systemic TRPV1 antagonists reproduced the KO type of healing. In conclusion, absence or blocking of TRPV1 suppressed inflammation and fibrosis/scarring during healing of alkali-burned mouse cornea. TRPV1 is a potential drug target for improving the outcome of inflammatory/fibrogenic wound healing.
Copyright © 2011 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.