Cornea

García-Posadas L, Hodges RR, Utheim TP, Olstad OK, Delcroix V, Makarenkova HP, Dartt DA. Lacrimal Gland Myoepithelial Cells Are Altered in a Mouse Model of Dry Eye Disease. Am J Pathol 2020;190(10):2067-2079.Abstract
The purpose of this study was to determine the pathogenic changes that occur in myoepithelial cells (MECs) from lacrimal glands of a mouse model of Sjögren syndrome. MECs were cultured from lacrimal glands of C57BL/6J [wild type (WT)] and thrombospondin 1 null (TSP1, alias Thbs1) mice and from mice expressing α-smooth muscle actin-green fluorescent protein that labels MECs. MECs were stimulated with cholinergic and α-adrenergic agonists, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), and the purinergic agonists ATP and UTP. Then intracellular [Ca] was measured using fura-2, and contraction was observed using live cell imaging. Expression of purinergic receptors was determined by Western blot analysis, and mRNA expression was analyzed by microarray. The increase in intracellular [Ca] with VIP and UTP was significantly smaller in MECs from TSP1 compared with WT mice. Cholinergic agonists, ATP, and UTP stimulated contraction in MECs, although contraction of MECs from TSP1 mice was reduced compared with WT mice. The amount of purinergic receptors P2Y1, P2Y11, and P2Y13 was significantly decreased in MECs from TSP1 compared with WT mice, whereas several extracellular matrix and inflammation genes were up-regulated in MECs from TSP1 mice. We conclude that lacrimal gland MEC function is altered by inflammation because the functions regulated by cholinergic agonists, VIP, and purinergic receptors are decreased in TSP1 compared with WT mice.
Bayraktutar BN, Ozmen CM, Muzaaya N, Dieckmann G, Koseoglu DN, Müller RT, Cruzat A, Cavalcanti BM, Hamrah P. Comparison of clinical characteristics of post-refractive surgery-related and post-herpetic neuropathic corneal pain. Ocul Surf 2020;Abstract
PURPOSE: To compare the clinical characteristics and in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) findings of patients with neuropathic corneal pain (NCP) due to refractive surgery (RS-NCP) and herpetic eye disease (H-NCP) to controls. METHODS: Sixteen patients with RS-NCP and 7 patients with H-NCP, and 37 healthy reference age- and sex-matched healthy controls were included to the study. The medical records were reviewed for demographic features, detailed disease history, ocular surface disease index (OSDI), ocular pain assessment survey (OPAS) scores. IVCM images of patients were analyzed and compared to reference controls by two masked observers. RESULTS: The mean pain intensity score for the last 24 h (5.1 ± 2.4 vs. 3.9 ± 1.2; p = 0.27), last 2 weeks (6.1 ± 2.5 vs. 4.8 ± 2.3; p = 0.13) for RS-NCP vs. H-NCP respectively, and quality of life scores (p = 0.23) were similar in both groups. Quality of life, especially mood (p = 0.06) and enjoying life/relations to others (p = 0.10) were affected in both groups, but were not statistically significant between groups. The mean total nerve density was lower in RS-NCP (5702.4 ± 4599.0 μm/mm) compared to their respective controls (26,422.8 ± 4491.0; p < 0.001) and in the H-NCP group (2149.5 ± 2985.9) compared to their respective controls (22,948.8 ± 3169.0; p < 0.001). Alterations in DC density were similar between all groups (38.3 ± 48.0 cells/mm in RS-NCP, 61.0 ± 76.9 in H-NCP, p = 0.95). CONCLUSION: Neuropathic corneal pain patients due to refractive surgery show similar clinical characteristics, pain levels, quality of life impact, and IVCM findings as patients with NCP due to herpetic eye disease.
Ashofteh Yazdi A, Melchor J, Torres J, Faris I, Callejas A, Gonzalez-Andrades M, Rus G. Characterization of non-linear mechanical behavior of the cornea. Sci Rep 2020;10(1):11549.Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate which hyperelastic model could best describe the non-linear mechanical behavior of the cornea, in order to characterize the capability of the non-linear model parameters to discriminate structural changes in a damaged cornea. Porcine corneas were used, establishing two different groups: control (non-treated) and NaOH-treated (damaged) corneas (n = 8). NaOH causes a chemical burn to the corneal tissue, simulating a disease associated to structural damage of the stromal layer. Quasi-static uniaxial tensile tests were performed in nasal-temporal direction immediately after preparing corneal strips from the two groups. Three non-linear hyperelastic models (i.e. Hamilton-Zabolotskaya model, Ogden model and Mooney-Rivlin model) were fitted to the stress-strain curves obtained in the tensile tests and statistically compared. The corneas from the two groups showed a non-linear mechanical behavior that was best described by the Hamilton-Zabolotskaya model, obtaining the highest coefficient of determination (R > 0.95). Moreover, Hamilton-Zabolotskaya model showed the highest discriminative capability of the non-linear model parameter (Parameter A) for the tissue structural changes between the two sample groups (p = 0.0005). The present work determines the best hyperelastic model with the highest discriminative capability in description of the non-linear mechanical behavior of the cornea.
Yang M, Lippestad M, Hodges RR, Fjærvoll HK, Fjærvoll KA, Bair JA, Utheim TP, Serhan CN, Dartt DA. RvE1 uses the LTB receptor BLT1 to increase [Ca] and stimulate mucin secretion in cultured rat and human conjunctival goblet cells. Ocul Surf 2020;18(3):470-482.Abstract
PURPOSE: Specialized pro-resolving lipid mediator resolvin (Rv) E1 stimulates secretion including mucins from conjunctival goblet cells. RvE1 can use both its ChemR23 receptor and the LTB receptor BLT1 to increase [Ca]. The purpose of this study was to determine the expression of ChemR23 and BLT1 and receptors on conjunctival goblet cells and the respective roles these two receptors play in goblet cell responses to RvE1. METHODS: Goblet cells were cultured from male rat or human conjunctiva from both sexes. Western blotting analysis, reverse transcription PCR and immunofluorescence microscopy were used to demonstrate the expression of ChemR23 and BLT1 in conjunctival goblet cells. High molecular weight glycoprotein secretion was determined using an enzyme-linked lectin assay. Signaling pathways were studied by measuring the increase in [Ca] using fura 2/AM. RESULTS: ChemR23 and BLT1 and receptors were present on both rat and human conjunctival goblet cells. The BLT1 inhibitors LY293111 and U75302 significantly blocked RvE1-and LTB-stimulated [Ca] increase. RvE1-and LTB-stimulated [Ca] and secretion increases were blocked by BLT1-targeted siRNA. RvE1-stimulated [Ca] and secretion increases were also blocked by ChemR23-targeted siRNA. Addition of RvE1 2 min before or simultaneously with LTB desensitized the LTB [Ca] response. Addition of RvE1 and LTB simultaneously caused secretion that was decreased compared to either response alone. CONCLUSION: RvE1, in addition to the ChemR23 receptor, uses the BLT1 receptor to increase [Ca] and stimulate secretion in both rat and human cultured conjunctival goblet cells.
Chodosh J, Ung L. Adoption of Innovation in Herpes Simplex Virus Keratitis. Cornea 2020;39 Suppl 1:S7-S18.Abstract
Herpes simplex keratitis, caused primarily by human herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), remains the most common infectious cause of unilateral blindness and vision impairment in the industrialized world. Major advances in the care of HSV keratitis have been driven in large part by the landmark Herpetic Eye Disease Study randomized clinical trials, which were among the first in ophthalmology to reflect emerging trial conventions, including multicenter subject enrollment, double-masking, placebo controls, and a priori sample size determinations. The results of these trials now form much of the evidence basis for the management of this disease. However, management patterns in clinical practice often deviate from evidence-based care. These perceived quality gaps have given rise to the evolving field of implementation science, which is concerned with the methods of promoting the application of evidence-based medicine within routine care. To overcome variations in the quality and consistency of care for HSV keratitis, a range of clinical- and technology-based innovations are proposed. The most pressing needs include the following: a rational and tractable disease classification scheme that provides an immediate link between the anatomical localization of disease (corneal epithelial, stromal, or endothelial) and the appropriate treatment, and the actualization of an electronic medical record system capable of providing evidence-based treatment algorithms at relevant points of care. The latter would also input data to population-wide disease registries to identify implementation-rich targets for quality improvement, education, and research. These innovations may allow us to reduce the human and economic burdens of this highly morbid, and often blinding, disease.
Moein H-R, Akhlaq A, Dieckmann G, Abbouda A, Pondelis N, Salem Z, Müller RT, Cruzat A, Cavalcanti BM, Jamali A, Hamrah P. Visualization of micro-neuromas by using in vivo confocal microscopy: An objective biomarker for the diagnosis of neuropathic corneal pain?. Ocul Surf 2020;Abstract
PURPOSE: The diagnosis of neuropathic corneal pain (NCP) is challenging, as it is often difficult to differentiate from conventional dry eye disease (DED). In addition to eye pain, NCP can present with similar signs and symptoms of DED. The purpose of this study is to find an objective diagnostic sign to identify patients with NCP, using in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). METHODS: This was a comparative, retrospective, case-control study. Patients with clinical diagnosis of NCP (n = 25), DED (n = 30), and age and sex-matched healthy controls (n = 16), who underwent corneal imaging with IVCM (HRT3/RCM) were included. Central corneal IVCM scans were analyzed by 2 masked observers for nerve density and number, presence of micro-neuromas (terminal enlargements of subbasal corneal nerve) and/or nerve beading (bead-like formation along the nerves), and dendritiform cell (DC) density. RESULTS: There was a decrease in total nerve density in both NCP (14.14 ± 1.03 mm/mm) and DED patients (12.86 ± 1.04 mm/mm), as compared to normal controls (23.90 ± 0.92 mm/mm; p < 0.001). However, total nerve density was not statistically different between NCP and DED patients (p = 0.63). Presence of nerve beading was not significantly different between patients and normal controls (p = 0.15). Interestingly, micro-neuromas were observed in all patients with NCP, while they were not present in any of the patients with DED (sensitivity and specificity of 100%). DC density was increased significantly in both NCP (71.89 ± 16.91 cells/mm) and DED patients (111.5 ± 23.86 cells/mm), as compared to normal controls (24.81 ± 4.48 cells/mm (Colloca et al., 2017) [2]; p < 0.05). However, there was no significant difference in DC density between DED and NCP patients (p = 0.31). CONCLUSION: IVCM may be used as an adjunct diagnostic tool for the diagnosis of NCP in the presence of neuropathic symptoms. Micro-neuromas may serve as a sensitive and specific biomarker for the diagnosis of NCP.
Yang M, Bair JA, Hodges RR, Serhan CN, Dartt DA. Resolvin E1 Reduces Leukotriene B4-Induced Intracellular Calcium Increase and Mucin Secretion in Rat Conjunctival Goblet Cells. Am J Pathol 2020;190(9):1823-1832.Abstract
Leukotriene B4 (LTB4) is a major proinflammatory mediator important in host defense, whereas resolvins (Rvs) are produced during the resolution phase of inflammation. The authors determined the actions of both RvE1 and RvD1 on LTB4-induced responses of goblet cells cultured from rat conjunctiva. The responses measured were an increase in the intracellular [Ca] ([Ca]) and high-molecular-weight glycoprotein secretion. Treatment with RvE1 or RvD1 for 30 minutes significantly blocked the LTB4-induced [Ca] increase. The actions of RvE1 on LTB4-induced [Ca] increase were reversed by siRNA for the RvE1 receptor, and the actions of RvD1 were reversed by an RvD1 receptor inhibitor. The RvE1 and RvD1 block of LTB4-stimulated increase in [Ca] was also reversed by an inhibitory peptide to β-adrenergic receptor kinase. LTB4 and block of the LTB4-stimulated increase in [Ca] by RvE1 and RvD1 were partially mediated by the depletion of intracellular Ca stores. RvE1, but not RvD1, counterregulated the LTB4-induced high-molecular-weight glycoprotein secretion. Thus, both RvE1 and RvD1 receptors directly inhibit LTB4 by phosphorylating the LTB4 receptor using β adrenergic receptor kinase. RvE1 receptor counterregulates the LTB4-induced increase in [Ca] and secretion, whereas RvD1 receptor only counterregulates LTB4-induced [Ca] increase.
Golan S, Vingopoulos F, Olson LC, Patel HH, Pinchover S, Magro CM, Levine B, Lelli GJ. Lacrimal tissue resection in Fasanella Servat operation and the correlation to dry eye. Orbit 2020;39(3):171-174.Abstract
: Fasanella-Servat operation (FSO) was previously reported to be associated with post-operative dry eyes due to accessory lacrimal gland resection during the surgery.We performed a retrospective, cohort study to determine the frequency of lacrimal tissue resection during FSO and its correlation with post-operative eye dryness and keratopathy.: Review of all patients who underwent FSO at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Hospital over a two-year period (2013-2015). Patients were included only if they had adequate histopathological specimens of the resected tissue obtained during surgery. Outcomes included the study of the pathological specimen for the presence of lacrimal tissue; Post-operative dry eye symptoms and pre- and post-operative corneal epitheliopathy.: 46 patients with a total of 58 eyelid resections were studied.Eight eyelids (13.7%) were found to have lacrimal tissue present in the pathology specimens.Postoperatively, nine patients reported some symptoms of dry eye and new-onset keratopathy was noted in four eyes (6.8%), only one of which had lacrimal tissue present in histopathology specimen obtained from surgery.: Previous studies found lacrimal tissue present in up to 43% of specimens resected during FSO. Our data found a lower rate of lacrimal tissue resection during FSO, and did not find an association between lacrimal tissue resection and post-operative dryness or epitheliopathy.: Our study is one of few to examine histopathological resections from the FSO.We found that lacrimal tissue is not frequently resected during FSO, and when it is resected, there is no increased incidence of post-operative dryness or keratopathy.
Vasilikos I, Haas J, Teixeira GQ, Nothelfer J, Neidlinger-Wilke C, Wilke H-J, Seitz A, Vavvas DG, Zentner J, Beck J, Hubbe U, Mizaikoff B. Infrared attenuated total reflection spectroscopic surface analysis of bovine-tail intervertebral discs after UV-light-activated riboflavin-induced collagen crosslinking. J Biophotonics 2020;:e202000110.Abstract
The tensile strength of the intervertebral disc (IVD) is mainly maintained by collagen cross-links. Loss of collagen cross-linking combined with other age-related degenerative processes contributes to tissue weakening, biomechanical failure, disc herniation and pain. Exogenous collagen cross-linking has been identified as an effective therapeutic approach for restoring IVD tensile strength. The current state-of-the-art method to assess the extent of collagen cross-linking in tissues requires destructive procedures and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In this study, we investigated the utility of infrared attenuated total reflection (IR-ATR) spectroscopy as a non-destructive analytical strategy to rapidly evaluate the extent of UV-light-activated riboflavin (B2)-induced collagen crosslinking (UVA-CXL) in bovine IVD samples. Thirty five fresh bovine-tail IVD samples were equally divided into five treatment groups: (i) untreated, (ii) cell culture medium DMEM only, (iii) B2 only, (iv) UV-light only, and (v) UV-light-B2. A total of 674 measurements have been acquired, and were analyzed via partial least squares discriminant analysis. This classification scheme unambiguously identified individual classes with a sensitivity >91% and specificity >92%. The obtained results demonstrate that IR-ATR spectroscopy reliably differentiates between different treatment categories, and promises an excellent tool for potential in vivo, non-destructive, and real-time assessment of exogenous IVD crosslinking. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Soh YQ, Kocaba V, Weiss JS, Jurkunas UV, Kinoshita S, Aldave AJ, Mehta JS. Corneal dystrophies. Nat Rev Dis Primers 2020;6(1):46.Abstract
Corneal dystrophies are broadly defined as inherited disorders that affect any layer of the cornea and are usually progressive, bilateral conditions that do not have systemic effects. The 2015 International Classification of Corneal Dystrophies classifies corneal dystrophies into four classes: epithelial and subepithelial dystrophies, epithelial-stromal TGFBI dystrophies, stromal dystrophies and endothelial dystrophies. Whereas some corneal dystrophies may result in few or mild symptoms and morbidity throughout a patient's lifetime, others may progress and eventually result in substantial visual and ocular disturbances that require medical or surgical intervention. Corneal transplantation, either with full-thickness or partial-thickness donor tissue, may be indicated for patients with advanced corneal dystrophies. Although corneal transplantation techniques have improved considerably over the past two decades, these surgeries are still associated with postoperative risks of disease recurrence, graft failure and other complications that may result in blindness. In addition, a global shortage of cadaveric corneal graft tissue critically limits accessibility to corneal transplantation in some parts of the world. Ongoing advances in gene therapy, regenerative therapy and cell augmentation therapy may eventually result in the development of alternative, novel treatments for corneal dystrophies, which may substantially improve the quality of life of patients with these disorders.
Erickson S, Sullivan AG, Barabino S, Begovic E, Benitez-Del-Castillo JM, Bonini S, Borges JS, Brzheskiy V, Bulat N, Cerim A, Craig P, Cușnir V, Cușnir V, Cușnir V, Doan S, Dülger E, Farrant S, Geerling G, Goldblum D, Golubev S, Gomes JAP, González-Méijome JM, Grupcheva CN, Gündüz UÖmür, Horwath-Winter J, Källmark F, Karanadze N, Karcic HH, Karcic S, Kontadakis G, Messmer EM, Mrugacz M, Murphy C, O'Leary OE, Procopciuc V, Pult H, Raus P, Şahin A, Setälä N, Stanila A, Stanila DM, Utheim TP, Vehof J, Versura P, Villani E, Willcox MDP, Wolffsohn JS, Zagórski Z, Zoega GMár, Sullivan DA, Sullivan DA, Gomes JAP, Versura P, Willcox MDP. TFOS European ambassador meeting: Unmet needs and future scientific and clinical solutions for ocular surface diseases. Ocul Surf 2020;Abstract
The mission of the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) is to advance the research, literacy, and educational aspects of the scientific field of the tear film and ocular surface. Fundamental to fulfilling this mission is the TFOS Global Ambassador program. TFOS Ambassadors are dynamic and proactive experts, who help promote TFOS initiatives, such as presenting the conclusions and recommendations of the recent TFOS DEWS II™, throughout the world. They also identify unmet needs, and propose future clinical and scientific solutions, for management of ocular surface diseases in their countries. This meeting report addresses such needs and solutions for 25 European countries, as detailed in the TFOS European Ambassador meeting in Rome, Italy, in September 2019.
Inomata T, Nakamura M, Iwagami M, Midorikawa-Inomata A, Sung J, Fujimoto K, Okumura Y, Eguchi A, Iwata N, Miura M, Fujio K, Nagino K, Hori S, Tsubota K, Dana R, Murakami A. Stratification of Individual Symptoms of Contact Lens-Associated Dry Eye Using the iPhone App DryEyeRhythm: Crowdsourced Cross-Sectional Study. J Med Internet Res 2020;22(6):e18996.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Discontinuation of contact lens use is mainly caused by contact lens-associated dry eye. It is crucial to delineate contact lens-associated dry eye's multifaceted nature to tailor treatment to each patient's individual needs for future personalized medicine. OBJECTIVE: This paper aims to quantify and stratify individual subjective symptoms of contact lens-associated dry eye and clarify its risk factors for future personalized medicine using the smartphone app DryEyeRhythm (Juntendo University). METHODS: This cross-sectional study included iPhone (Apple Inc) users in Japan who downloaded DryEyeRhythm. DryEyeRhythm was used to collect medical big data related to contact lens-associated dry eye between November 2016 and January 2018. The main outcome measure was the incidence of contact lens-associated dry eye. Univariate and multivariate adjusted odds ratios of risk factors for contact lens-associated dry eye were determined by logistic regression analyses. The t-distributed Stochastic Neighbor Embedding algorithm was used to depict the stratification of subjective symptoms of contact lens-associated dry eye. RESULTS: The records of 4454 individuals (median age 27.9 years, SD 12.6), including 2972 female participants (66.73%), who completed all surveys were included in this study. Among the included participants, 1844 (41.40%) were using contact lenses, and among those who used contact lenses, 1447 (78.47%) had contact lens-associated dry eye. Multivariate adjusted odds ratios of risk factors for contact lens-associated dry eye were as follows: younger age, 0.98 (95% CI 0.96-0.99); female sex, 1.53 (95% CI 1.05-2.24); hay fever, 1.38 (95% CI 1.10-1.74); mental illness other than depression or schizophrenia, 2.51 (95% CI 1.13-5.57); past diagnosis of dry eye, 2.21 (95% CI 1.63-2.99); extended screen exposure time >8 hours, 1.61 (95% CI 1.13-2.28); and smoking, 2.07 (95% CI 1.49-2.88). The t-distributed Stochastic Neighbor Embedding analysis visualized and stratified 14 groups based on the subjective symptoms of contact lens-associated dry eye. CONCLUSIONS: This study identified and stratified individuals with contact lens-associated dry eye and its risk factors. Data on subjective symptoms of contact lens-associated dry eye could be used for prospective prevention of contact lens-associated dry eye progression.
Aggarwal S, Kheirkhah A, Cavalcanti BM, Cruzat A, Jamali A, Hamrah P. Correlation of corneal immune cell changes with clinical severity in dry eye disease: An in vivo confocal microscopy study. Ocul Surf 2020;Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate corneal immune dendritiform cell (DC) changes in dry eye disease (DED) using in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) and to correlate IVCM parameters with clinical severity. METHODS: This was a retrospective, cross-sectional study including 300 eyes of 150 DED patients and 49 eyes of 49 age-matched controls. Severity of DED was based on the Dry Eye Workshop (DEWS) classification. IVCM images of subbasal layer of the central cornea were analyzed for DC density and morphology (including number of dendrites per DC, DC size and DC field). RESULTS: DC density was significantly higher in DED compared to controls (93.4 ± 6.3 vs. 25.9 ± 3.9 cells/mm; P < 0.001). Morphologically, number of dendrites, DC size and field were significantly larger in DED (3.3 ± 0.1, 106.9 ± 4.7 μm, 403.8 ± 20.1 μm than controls (2.3 ± 0.1, 62.5 ± 5.7 μm, 241.4 ± 24.4 μm, P < 0.001). Significantly higher DC density compared to controls was observed as early as Level 1 DED severity (87 ± 10 cells/mm, p < 0.001. Significant morphological changes in DC were detected for Levels 2 to 4 (p=<0.001, and p =< 0.05) for dendrites and DC field, respectively. Similarly, DC size showed significant increase at DED level 3-4. (p < 0.05). Linear regression analysis showed that both conjunctival and corneal staining were independently associated with DC density, while corneal staining was independently associated with DC morphology. CONCLUSION: DC density and morphology correlated with clinical severity of DED. While, DC density is increased in mild DED, morphological changes are seen only in severe cases. IVCM may be a powerful tool to detect early immune changes and may complement clinical examination in DED.
McKay TB, Serjersen H, Hjortdal J, Zieske JD, Karamichos D. Characterization of Tear Immunoglobulins in a Small-Cohort of Keratoconus Patients. Sci Rep 2020;10(1):9426.Abstract
Keratoconus (KC) is classically considered a non-inflammatory condition caused by central corneal thinning that leads to astigmatism and reduced visual acuity. Previous studies have identified increased systemic levels of pro-inflammatory factors, including interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, and matrix metalloproteinase-9, suggesting that KC may have an inflammatory component in at least a subset of patients. In this study, we evaluated the levels of different immunoglobulins (light and heavy chains) based on Ig α, Ig λ, Ig κ, Ig µ, and Ig heavy chain subunits in non-KC tears (n = 7 control individuals) and KC tears (n = 7 KC patients) using tandem-liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. The most abundant Ig heavy chains detected in both control individuals and KC patients were Ig α-1 and Ig α-2 likely correlating to the higher IgA levels reported in human tears. We identified significant differences in immunoglobulin κ-chain V-II levels in KC patients compared to control individuals with no significant difference in Ig κ/Ig λ ratios or heavy chain levels. Our study supports previous findings suggesting that KC possesses a systemic component that may contribute to the KC pathology. Further studies are required to define causality and establish a role for systemic immune system-dependent factors and pro-inflammatory processes in KC development or progression.
Singh RB, Blanco T, Mittal SK, Taketani Y, Chauhan SK, Chen Y, Dana R. Pigment Epithelium-derived Factor secreted by corneal epithelial cells regulates dendritic cell maturation in dry eye disease. Ocul Surf 2020;18(3):460-469.Abstract
PURPOSE: In this study, we quantify Pigment Epithelium-derived Factor (PEDF) secreted by corneal epithelial cells and evaluate its immunomodulatory functions in a murine model of dry eye disease (DED). METHODS: We induced DED in female C57BL/6 mice using a controlled environment chamber for 14 days. We quantified mRNA expression of Serpinf1 gene and PEDF protein synthesis by corneal epithelial cells (CEpCs) using RT-PCR and ELISA. CEpCs from normal or DED mice were cultured with IFNγ-stimulated-dendritic cells (DCs) for 24 h, and expression of MHC-II and CD86 by DCs was determined using flow cytometry. Next, we either added recombinant PEDF (rPEDF) or anti-PEDF antibody to co-culture, and DC expression of the above maturation markers was quantified. Lastly, we treated DED mice with either topical rPEDF, anti-PEDF Ab or murine serum albumin (MSA), and DC maturation, expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and DED severity were investigated. RESULTS: Serpinf1 mRNA expression and PEDF protein production levels by CEpCs were upregulated in DED. CEpCs from DED mice exhibited an enhanced suppressive effect on the expression of MHC-II and CD86 by DCs, compared to normal mice. This effect was abolished by blocking endogenous PEDF with anti-PEDF Ab or enhanced by supplementing with rPEDF. Treatment with anti-PEDF antibody blocked the effect of endogenous-PEDF and increased DC maturation, expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in conjunctivae, and exacerbated disease severity in DED mice. Conversely, topical rPEDF enhanced the suppressive effect of endogenous PEDF on DC maturation, decreased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in conjunctivae, and reduced disease severity. CONCLUSIONS: The results from our study elucidate the role of PEDF in impeding DC maturation, and suppression of ocular surface inflammation, explicating a promising therapeutic potential of PEDF in limiting the corneal epitheliopathy as a consequence of DED.

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