The Effect of Solithromycin, a Cationic Amphiphilic Drug, on the Proliferation and Differentiation of Human Meibomian Gland Epithelial Cells

Date Published:

2018 Jun


PURPOSE: We previously discovered that azithromycin (AZM) acts directly on immortalized human meibomian gland epithelial cells (IHMGECs) to stimulate their lipid and lysosome accumulation and overall differentiation. We hypothesize that this phospholipidosis-like effect is due to AZM's cationic amphiphilic drug (CAD) nature. If our hypothesis is correct, then other CADs (e.g., solithromycin [SOL]) should be able to duplicate AZM's action on IHMGECs. Our purpose was to test this hypothesis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: IHMGECs were cultured in the presence of vehicle or SOL (2, 10, or 20 µg/ml) for up to 7 days under proliferating or differentiating conditions. Positive (epidermal growth factor and bovine pituitary extract for proliferation; AZM for differentiation) and negative (vehicle) controls were included with the experiments. IHMGECs were evaluated for cell number, neutral lipid content, and lysosome accumulation. RESULTS: Our results demonstrate that SOL induces a rapid and dose-dependent increase in the accumulation of neutral lipids and lysosomes in HMGECs. The lysosomal effects were most prominent with the 10 and 20 µg/ml doses, and occurred earlier (i.e., 1 day) with SOL than with the AZM (10 µg/ml) control. The effects of SOL and AZM on IHMGEC differentiation were essentially the same after 3 days of culture. SOL did not influence the proliferation of HMGECs during a 7-day time period. CONCLUSIONS: Our results support our hypothesis that SOL, a CAD, is able to reproduce AZM's impact on lysosome and lipid accumulation, as well as the differentiation, of HMGECs. The effect of SOL on lysosome appearance was faster than that of AZM.

Last updated on 07/02/2018