Liu C, Chen Y, Kochevar IE, Jurkunas UV. Decreased DJ-1 leads to impaired Nrf2-regulated antioxidant defense and increased UV-A-induced apoptosis in corneal endothelial cells. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;55(9):5551-60.Abstract
PURPOSE: To investigate the role of DJ-1 in Nrf2-regulated antioxidant defense in corneal endothelial cells (CECs) at baseline and in response to ultraviolet A (UV-A)-induced oxidative stress. METHODS: DJ-1-deficient CECs were obtained by transfection of an immortalized normal human corneal endothelial cell line (HCECi) with DJ-1 small interfering RNA (siRNA) or by isolation of CECs from ex vivo corneas of DJ-1 knockout mice. Levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), protein carbonyls, Nrf2 subcellular localization, Nrf2 target genes, and protein interaction between Keap1/Nrf2 and Cul3/Nrf2 were compared between normal and DJ-1-deficient CECs. Oxidative stress was induced by irradiating HCECi cells with UV-A, and cell death and levels of activated caspase3 and phospho-p53 were determined. RESULTS: DJ-1 siRNA-treated cells exhibited increased levels of ROS production and protein carbonyls as well as a 2.2-fold decrease in nuclear Nrf2 protein when compared to controls. DJ-1 downregulation led to attenuated gene expression of Nrf2 and its target genes HO-1 and NQO1. Similar levels of Nrf2 inhibitor, Keap1, and Cul3/Nrf2 and Keap1/Nrf2 were observed in DJ-1 siRNA-treated cells as compared to controls. Ultraviolet A irradiation resulted in a 3.0-fold increase in cell death and elevated levels of activated caspase3 and phospho-p53 in DJ-1 siRNA-treated cells compared to controls. CONCLUSIONS: Downregulation of DJ-1 impairs nuclear translocation of Nrf2, causing decreased antioxidant gene expression and increased oxidative damage. The decline in DJ-1 levels leads to heightened CEC susceptibility to UV-A light by activating p53-dependent apoptosis. Targeting the DJ-1-Nrf2 axis may provide a potential therapeutic approach for enhancing antioxidant defense in corneal endothelial disorders.
Sanderson J, Dartt DA, Trinkaus-Randall V, Pintor J, Civan MM, Delamere NA, Fletcher EL, Salt TE, Grosche A, Mitchell CH. Purines in the eye: recent evidence for the physiological and pathological role of purines in the RPE, retinal neurons, astrocytes, Müller cells, lens, trabecular meshwork, cornea and lacrimal gland. Exp Eye Res 2014;127:270-9.Abstract
This review highlights recent findings that describ how purines modulate the physiological and pathophysiological responses of ocular tissues. For example, in lacrimal glands the cross-talk between P2X7 receptors and both M3 muscarinic receptors and α1D-adrenergic receptors can influence tear secretion. In the cornea, purines lead to post-translational modification of EGFR and structural proteins that participate in wound repair in the epithelium and influence the expression of matrix proteins in the stroma. Purines act at receptors on both the trabecular meshwork and ciliary epithelium to modulate intraocular pressure (IOP); ATP-release pathways of inflow and outflow cells differ, possibly permitting differential modulation of adenosine delivery. Modulators of trabecular meshwork cell ATP release include cell volume, stretch, extracellular Ca(2+) concentration, oxidation state, actin remodeling and possibly endogenous cardiotonic steroids. In the lens, osmotic stress leads to ATP release following TRPV4 activation upstream of hemichannel opening. In the anterior eye, diadenosine polyphosphates such as Ap4A act at P2 receptors to modulate the rate and composition of tear secretion, impact corneal wound healing and lower IOP. The Gq11-coupled P2Y1-receptor contributes to volume control in Müller cells and thus the retina. P2X receptors are expressed in neurons in the inner and outer retina and contribute to visual processing as well as the demise of retinal ganglion cells. In RPE cells, the balance between extracellular ATP and adenosine may modulate lysosomal pH and the rate of lipofuscin formation. In optic nerve head astrocytes, mechanosensitive ATP release via pannexin hemichannels, coupled with stretch-dependent upregulation of pannexins, provides a mechanism for ATP signaling in chronic glaucoma. With so many receptors linked to divergent functions throughout the eye, ensuring the transmitters remain local and stimulation is restricted to the intended target may be a key issue in understanding how physiological signaling becomes pathological in ocular disease.
Samsom ML, Morrison S, Masala N, Sullivan BD, Sullivan DA, Sheardown H, Schmidt TA. Characterization of full-length recombinant human Proteoglycan 4 as an ocular surface boundary lubricant. Exp Eye Res 2014;127:14-9.Abstract
Proteoglycan 4 (PRG4, or lubricin) is a lubricating mucin-like glycoprotein recently discovered at the ocular surface, where it functions as a boundary lubricant and appears to play a protective role. Recent technological advances have enabled abundant expression of full-length recombinant human PRG4 (rhPRG4). The objectives of this study were to 1) biochemically characterize the gross structure and glycosylations of full-length rhPRG4, and 2) assess the ocular surface boundary lubricating ability of rhPRG4 at both human cornea-eyelid and human cornea-polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) biointerfaces. rhPRG4 expressed by a Chinese hamster ovary cell line was characterized and compared to native bovine PRG4 by SDS-PAGE western blotting, and protein identity was assessed by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Human corneas were articulated against PDMS or human eyelids, at effective sliding velocities of 0.3-30 mm/s under physiological loads of ∼15 kPa, to assess and compare the ocular lubricating ability of rhPRG4 to PRG4. Samples were tested serially in PRG4, rhPRG4 (both 300 μg/ml), then saline. Western blotting indicated that rhPRG4 had immunoreactivity at the appropriate apparent molecular weight, and possessed O-linked glycosylation consistent with that of PRG4. rhPRG4 protein identity was confirmed by MS/MS. Both PRG4 and rhPRG4 significantly, and similarly, reduced friction compared to saline at both human cornea - PDMS and human cornea-eyelid biointerfaces. In conclusion, the rhPRG4 studied here demonstrated appropriate higher order structure, O-linked glycosylations, and ocular surface boundary lubricating. Purified rhPRG4 may have clinical utility as a topical treatment of dry eye disease or contact lens biomaterial coating to promote more comfortable wear.
Rahimi Darabad R, Suzuki T, Richards SM, Jakobiec FA, Zakka FR, Barabino S, Sullivan DA. Does estrogen deficiency cause lacrimal gland inflammation and aqueous-deficient dry eye in mice?. Exp Eye Res 2014;127:153-60.Abstract

Researchers have proposed that estrogen deficiency will lead to a Sjögren's syndrome (SjS)-like lacrimal gland inflammation, aqueous tear deficiency and dry eye. The purpose of this study was to determine whether this proposal is correct. Lacrimal glands were obtained from adult, age-matched wild type (WT) and aromatase knockout (ArKO) mice, in which estrogen synthesis is completely eliminated. Tissues were also obtained from autoimmune MRL/Mp-lpr/lpr (MRL/lpr) mice as inflammation controls. Tear volumes in WT and ArKO mice were measured and glands were processed for molecular biological and histological evaluation. Our results demonstrate that estrogen absence does not lead to a SjS-like inflammation in lacrimal tissue or to an aqueous-deficient dry eye. There was no upregulation of genes associated with inflammatory pathways in lacrimal glands of male or female ArKO mice. Such inflammatory activity was prominent in autoimmune MRL/lpr tissues. We also found no evidence of inflammation in lacrimal gland tissue sections of estrogen-deficient mice, and tear volumes of ArKO males were actually increased as compared to those WT controls. Interestingly, our study did show that estrogen absence influences the expression of thousands of lacrimal gland genes, and that this impact is sex- and genotype-specific. Our findings demonstrate that estrogen absence is not a risk factor for the development of SjS-like lacrimal gland inflammation or for aqueous-deficient dry eye in mice.

Yamaguchi T, Calvacanti BM, Cruzat A, Qazi Y, Ishikawa S, Osuka A, Lederer JA, Hamrah P. Correlation between Human Tear Cytokine Levels and Cellular Corneal Changes in Patients with Bacterial Keratitis by In Vivo Confocal Microscopy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;Abstract

Purpose: To investigate bilateral tear cytokine levels in patients with unilateral bacterial keratitis (BK) as associated with in vivo confocal microscopic (IVCM) alterations in corneal nerves and dendritiform immune cells (DCs). Methods: Fifty-four (13 BK, 13 contralateral, 28 healthy controls) tear samples were collected prospectively and analyzed by multiplex microbeads assay. IVCM of the central cornea was performed on the same day and assessed for corneal nerve and DC alterations Results: Interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 were significantly elevated only in affected eyes (66.6±26.8 ρg/ml, 7,174±2,430, 810±315, P=0.04, P<0.001 and P<0.001), compared to healthy controls (13.0±4.0 ρg/ml, 171.8±32.1, 56.5±33.8). CCL-2, IL-10 and IL-17a were elevated only in contralateral eyes (813±478 ρg/ml, 86.7±38.3, 3,350±881, P=0.02, P=0.01, P=0.04), compared to controls (73.7±25.3 ρg/ml, 17.5 ±4.9, 1,350±337). Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells (TREM)-1 was significantly elevated in both affected (551±231 ρg/ml, P=0.02) and contralateral unaffected eyes (545±298 ρg/ml, P=0.03), compared to controls (31.3±12.4 ρg/ml). The density of DCs was significantly increased in both affected (226.9±37.3 cells/mm2, P<0.001) and unaffected eyes (122.3±23.7 cells/mm2, P<0.001) compared to controls (22.7±5.9 cells/mm2). Subbasal nerve density significantly decreased in affected eyes (3,337±1,615 μm/mm2, P<0.001) and contralateral eyes (13,230±1,635 μm/mm2, P<0.001) compared to controls (21,200±545 μm/mm2). IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8 were significantly correlated with DC density (R=0.40, R=0.55 and R=0.31, all P<0.02) and nerve density (R=-0.30, R=-0.53 and R=-0.39, all P<0.01). Conclusions: Pro-inflammatory tear cytokines are elevated bilaterally in patients with unilateral BK, and are correlated strongly with alterations in DCs and nerve density as detected by IVCM.

Schroedl F, Kaser-Eichberger A, Schlereth SL, Bock F, Regenfuss B, Reitsamer HA, Lutty GA, Maruyama K, Chen L, Lütjen-Drecoll E, Dana R, Kerjaschki D, Alitalo K, De Stefano ME, Junghans BM, Heindl LM, Cursiefen C. Consensus statement on the immunohistochemical detection of ocular lymphatic vessels. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;55(10):6440-2.Abstract

There is currently considerable controversy about existence and classification of "lymphatic vessels" in the eye. Some of the confusion is certainly caused by inappropriate use (or nonuse) of the correct immunohistochemical markers. Many experts in the field expressed the need for a consensus statement, and, in this perspective, authors offer arguments and solutions to reliably continue with immunohistochemical ocular lymphatic research.

Arnoldner MA, Kheirkhah A, Jakobiec FA, Durand ML, Hamrah P. Successful treatment of Paecilomyces lilacinus keratitis with oral posaconazole. Cornea 2014;33(7):747-9.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report a case of successful medical treatment with oral posaconazole in refractory fungal keratitis caused by Paecilomyces lilacinus. METHODS: Case report. RESULTS: A 57-year-old male, soft contact lens wearer presented with irritation, pain, photophobia, and reduced vision. Slit-lamp examination showed a large corneal epithelial defect with a peripheral infiltrate. The patient did not improve on fortified topical antibiotics. After the diagnosis of P. lilacinus fungal keratitis, oral voriconazole and topical antifungal therapy were started. Despite antifungal therapy, progressive disease required therapeutic penetrating keratoplasty. Postoperatively, because of clinical signs of recurrence and in vivo confocal microscopy findings of presumed hyphae in the cornea, intracameral miconazole was injected and oral posaconazole was started. The patient improved and demonstrated no hyphae 6 weeks after starting posaconazole. When posaconazole was stopped, the cornea remained clear with excellent acuity. However, because of acute graft rejection 2 months after stopping posaconazole, keratoprosthesis was implanted, with no evidence of infection at surgery or during the 3.5-year follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the use of oral posaconazole for Paecilomyces keratitis. Posaconazole might be indicated in the treatment of refractory Paecilomyces keratitis that is resistant to conventional therapy.
Omoto M, Katikireddy KR, Rezazadeh A, Dohlman TH, Chauhan S. Mesenchymal stem cells home to inflamed ocular surface and suppress allosensitization in corneal transplantation. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;Abstract

Purpose: To investigate whether systemically-injected syngeneic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can home to the inflamed transplanted cornea, suppress induction of alloimmunity, and promote allograft survival. Methods: MSCs were generated from bone marrow of wild-type BALB/c or GFP+ C57BL/6 mice, and 1x106 cells were intravenously injected to allografted recipients 3 hours after surgery. MSCs homing to the cornea were examined at day 3 post-transplantation by immunohistochemistry. CD11c+MHC II+ cells were detected in the cornea and lymph nodes (LNs) 14 days post-transplantation using flow cytometry. Cytokine expression of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) was determined using real-time PCR. ELISPOT assay was used to assess indirect and direct host T cell allosensitization, and graft survival was evaluated by slit-lamp biomicroscopy weekly up to 8 weeks. Results: Intravenously injected GFP+ MSCs were found in abundance in the transplanted cornea, conjunctiva, and lymph nodes, but not in the ungrafted (contralateral) tissue. The frequencies of mature CD11c+MHC II+ APCs were substantially decreased in the corneas and draining LNs of MSC-injected allograft recipients compared to control recipients. Maturation and function of in vitro cultured BMDCs was decreased when cocultured with MSCs. Draining LNs of MSC-injected allograft recipients showed significantly lower frequencies of IFNγ-secreting Th1 cells compared to the control group. Allograft survival rate was significantly higher in MSC-injected recipients compared to non-MSC injected recipients. Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that systemically-administered MSCs specifically home to transplanted corneas and promote allograft survival by inhibiting APC maturation and induction of alloreactive T cells.

Arafat SN, Robert M-C, Shukla AN, Dohlman CH, Chodosh J, Ciolino JB. UV cross-linking of donor corneas confers resistance to keratolysis. Cornea 2014;33(9):955-9.Abstract

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to develop a modified ex vivo corneal cross-linking method that increases stromal resistance to enzymatic degradation for use as a carrier for the Boston keratoprosthesis. METHODS: Ex vivo cross-linking of human corneas was performed using Barron artificial anterior chambers. The corneas were deepithelialized, pretreated with riboflavin solution (0.1% riboflavin/20% dextran), and irradiated with ultraviolet A (UV-A) light (λ = 370 nm, irradiance = 3 mW/cm) for various durations. The combined effect of UV-A and gamma (γ) irradiation was also assessed using the commercially available γ-irradiated corneal donors. The corneas were then trephined and incubated at 37°C with 0.3% collagenase A solution. The time to dissolution of each cornea was compared across treatments. RESULTS: Deepithelialized corneas (no UV light, no riboflavin) dissolved in 5.8 ± 0.6 hours. Cross-linked corneas demonstrated increased resistance to dissolution, with a time to dissolution of 17.8 ± 2.6 hours (P < 0.0001). The corneal tissues' resistance to collagenase increased with longer UV-A exposure, reaching a plateau at 30 minutes. Cross-linking both the anterior and posterior corneas did not provide added resistance when compared with cross-linking the anterior corneas only (P > 0.05). γ-irradiated corneas dissolved as readily as deepithelialized controls regardless of whether they were further cross-linked (5.6 ± 1.2 hours) or not (6.1 ± 0.6 hours) (P = 0.43). CONCLUSIONS: Collagen cross-linking of the deepithelialized anterior corneal surface for 30 minutes conferred optimal resistance to in vitro keratolysis by collagenase A.

Stevenson W, Chen Y, Lee S-M, Lee HS, Hua J, Dohlman T, Shiang T, Dana R. Extraorbital lacrimal gland excision: a reproducible model of severe aqueous tear-deficient dry eye disease. Cornea 2014;33(12):1336-41.Abstract
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to establish and characterize extraorbital lacrimal gland excision (LGE) as a model of aqueous tear-deficient dry eye disease in mice. METHODS: Female C57BL/6 mice at 6 to 8 weeks of age were randomized to extraorbital LGE, sham surgery, or scopolamine groups. Mice that underwent extraorbital LGE or sham surgery were housed in the standard vivarium. Scopolamine-treated mice were housed in a controlled environment chamber that allowed for the continuous regulation of airflow (15 L/min), relative humidity (30%), and temperature (21-23°C). Clinical disease severity was assessed over the course of 14 days using the phenol red thread test and corneal fluorescein staining. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed to assess corneal mRNA expression of interleukin 1β, tumor necrosis factor α, and matrix metalloproteinase 9. Flow cytometry was used to assess T helper cell frequencies in the conjunctivae and draining lymph nodes. RESULTS: Extraorbital LGE markedly reduced aqueous tear secretion as compared with the sham procedure and induced a more consistent decrease in aqueous tear secretion than was observed in mice that received scopolamine while housed in the controlled environment chamber. Extraorbital LGE significantly increased corneal fluorescein staining scores as compared with those of both the sham surgery and scopolamine-treated groups. Extraorbital LGE significantly increased the corneal expression of interleukin 1β, tumor necrosis factor α, and matrix metalloproteinase 9. Further, extraorbital LGE increased T helper 17-cell frequencies in the conjunctivae and draining lymph nodes. CONCLUSIONS: Extraorbital LGE induces aqueous tear-deficient dry eye disease in mice as evidenced by decreased aqueous tear secretion, increased corneal epitheliopathy, and induced ocular surface inflammation and immunity.
Aggarwal S, Jakobiec FA, Hamrah P. Bilateral adult epibulbar xanthogranulomas suspicious for Erdheim-Chester disease. Cornea 2014;33(10):1113-7.Abstract

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to report the clinical, imaging, and histopathological findings of bilateral, conjunctival adult-onset xanthogranulomas that raised the prospect of a mild form of Erdheim-Chester disease. METHODS: This is a case report. RESULTS: A 35-year-old white male complaining of ocular irritation, presented with bilateral, nasal and temporal, yellow, elevated conjunctival lumps first noticed 1.5 years back, which were not associated with other ocular findings. The lesions were firm, attached to the underlying episclera, and measured 1.1 × 0.9, 1.1 × 0.8, 1.2 × 0.5, and 0.5 × 0.5 cm in the temporal and nasal right and left eyes, respectively. Each mass was fleshy with vascularity at the peripheral margin. Histopathologic evaluation after excisional biopsy revealed lipidized xanthoma cells, multiple Touton giant cells, and lymphocytes. Immunohistochemical staining was positive for adipophilin (lipid), CD68, CD163 histiocytes, CD3 T cells (with CD8 cytotoxic T cells > CD4 T-helper cells), and virtually no CD20 B cells or IgG4 plasma cells. The patient later acquired similar xanthogranulomatous subcutaneous lesions on the extremities. Positron emission tomography scans showed sclerosis in the medullary cavities of the tibia and the radius of both legs and arms, and an absence of retroperitoneal lesions. A normal serum immunoelectrophoresis and the absence of a BRAF gene mutation were demonstrated. CONCLUSIONS: Adult-onset xanthogranuloma can present as a solitary conjunctival mass without periocular or orbital involvement. The clinical, histopathologic, and radiologic findings in this case are suggestive of Erdheim-Chester disease without displaying any life-threatening lesions to date. Histopathologic and imaging studies can help in obtaining a diagnosis. Ophthalmologists should be aware that xanthogranulomatous conditions may have potential systemic implications, and a thorough systemic evaluation is recommended for lesions that initially seemed to be isolated in nature.

Ferrari G, Hajrasouliha AR, Sadrai Z, Ueno H, Chauhan SK, Dana R. Nerves and neovessels inhibit each other in the cornea. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2013;54(1):813-20.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the regulatory cross-talk of the vascular and neural networks in the cornea. METHODS: b-FGF micropellets (80 ng) were implanted in the temporal side of the cornea of healthy C57Bl/6 mice. On day 7, blood vessels (hemangiogenesis) and nerves were observed by immunofluorescence staining of corneal flat mounts. The next group of mice underwent either trigeminal stereotactic electrolysis (TSE), or sham operation, to ablate the ophthalmic branch of the trigeminal nerve. Blood vessel growth was detected by immunohistochemistry for PECAM-1 (CD31) following surgery. In another set of mice following TSE or sham operation, corneas were harvested for ELISA (VEGFR3 and pigment epithelium-derived factor [PEDF]) and for quantitative RT-PCR (VEGFR3, PEDF, and CD45). PEDF, VEGFR3, beta-3 tubulin, CD45, CD11b, and F4/80 expression in the cornea were evaluated using immunostaining. RESULTS: No nerves were detected in the areas subject to corneal neovascularization, whereas they persisted in the areas that were neovessel-free. Conversely, 7 days after denervation, significant angiogenesis was detected in the cornea, and this was associated with a significant decrease in VEGFR3 (57.5% reduction, P = 0.001) and PEDF protein expression (64% reduction, P < 0.001). Immunostaining also showed reduced expression of VEGFR3 in the corneal epithelial layer. Finally, an inflammatory cell infiltrate, including macrophages, was observed. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that sensory nerves and neovessels inhibit each other in the cornea. When vessel growth is stimulated, nerves disappear and, conversely, denervation induces angiogenesis. This phenomenon, here described in the eye, may have far-reaching implications in understanding angiogenesis.
Cruzat A, Shukla A, Dohlman CH, Colby K. Wound anatomy after type 1 Boston KPro using oversized back plates. Cornea 2013;32(12):1531-6.Abstract
PURPOSE: To compare the anatomy of the graft-host junction and anterior chamber angle after Boston Keratoprosthesis (KPro) placement using oversized (9.5-mm) and standard (8.5-mm) back plates. METHODS: Six patients with 9.5-mm titanium back plates and 10 patients with 8.5-mm titanium back plates were imaged by anterior segment optical coherence tomography 6 to 12 months after KPro placement. The location of the graft-host junction in relation to the back plate, the corneal thickness at the graft-host junction, and the anterior chamber angle were assessed. The clinical outcomes and incidence of retroprosthetic membrane (RPM) formation in this cohort were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: The oversized back plates completely covered the graft-host junction in all quadrants, allowing the complete apposition of the posterior surface of the carrier graft with the host cornea, with decreased graft-host junction wound thickness. The standard back plates covered the posterior aspect of the carrier graft but not the graft-host junction or the host cornea, resulting in a significantly thicker graft-host junction. None of the patients with larger back plates developed a significant RPM during a 12-month follow-up period. One patient with a larger back plate developed a corneal melt at the KPro stem as a result of chronic exposure. CONCLUSIONS: Oversized KPro back plates effectively cover the graft-host junction without any adverse effects on angle anatomy or wound healing. This may be a strategy to provide better wound apposition, reduce RPM formation, and reduce angle closure from iris synechiae to the wound.
Blanco-Mezquita JT, Hutcheon AEK, Zieske JD. Role of thrombospondin-1 in repair of penetrating corneal wounds. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2013;54(9):6262-8.Abstract
PURPOSE: Thrombospondin-1 (THBS1) has been suggested as a corneal wound-healing modulator. Therefore, we compromised the integrity of the cornea to elucidate the role of THBS1. METHODS: Full-thickness penetrating corneal incisions (1.5 mm) were created in wild type (WT, 129S2/SvPas) and THBS1-deficient mice (Thbs1⁻/⁻), 129S2/SvPas-Thbs1(tm1Hyn)/Thbs1(tm1Hyn)), and allowed to heal up to 1 month, while being monitored by slit-lamp and intravital corneal examinations. Corneas also were examined by transmission electron microscopy and indirect immunofluorescence. To determine how THBS1 was involved in the healing process, we examined THBS1 and α-smooth muscle actin (SMA), a marker of myofibroblasts and myoepithelial cells. RESULTS: In WT mice by 1 month, corneas appeared transparent with a thin scar, and endothelium and Descemet's membrane (DM) were restored. In contrast, Thbs1⁻/⁻ corneas exhibited chronic edema and persistent opacity after wounding. The DM and endothelium were not restored, and wound contraction was impaired. The THBS1 was localized in epithelial cells at early stages of the healing process, and in the stroma and endothelial cells during later stages. The SMA-positive epithelial cells and myofibroblasts were observed within the healing area at day 4, peaked at day 14, and disappeared at day 30. The SMA-positive cells were reduced greatly in Thbs1⁻/⁻ mice. CONCLUSIONS: In the current study, we demonstrated that corneal restoration is strikingly compromised by a penetrating incision in Thbs1⁻/⁻ mice. The wound results in persistent edema and wound gaping. This appears to be the result of the lack of endothelial migration and DM restoration. In addition, myofibroblast formation is compromised, resulting in the lack of wound contraction.