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Hidetoshi Tanioka, Norihiko Yokoi, Aoi Komuro, Takasumi Shimamoto, Satoshi Kawasaki, Akira Matsuda, Shigeru Kinoshita; Investigation of the Corneal Filament in Filamentary Keratitis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(8):3696-3702. doi: 10.1167/iovs.08-2938.
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purpose. To date, no studies have elucidated the composition of the corneal filament in detail. In this study, an immunohistochemical technique was used to clarify the exact composition of the corneal filament in filamentary keratitis. In addition, the mechanisms responsible for filament formation were identified.
methods. Filaments were obtained from 13 patients with filamentary keratitis with a background of penetrating keratoplasty, aqueous tear deficiency, and severe ocular surface disorders, who were receiving treatment at an outpatient facility. From those tissues, transverse and longitudinal frozen sections were prepared and subjected to an indirect fluorescent immunohistochemical analysis with primary antibodies, including cytokeratins (CK1, -4, -6, -10, -12, and -13), mucins (MUC1, -4, -5AC, and -16), keratinization-related proteins (transglutaminase [TGase]-1 and filaggrin), cell proliferation marker Ki67, and markers of infiltration cells (HLA-DR and neutrophil-elastase). TUNEL staining was used for the detection of apoptosis. Fluorescent images of the sections were inspected with a fluorescence microscope.
results. The filaments were composed of CK12-positive cells and had a roll-formed central core. They were covered with MUC5AC- and -16-positive mucins including CK4- and -13-positive cells and neutrophil-elastase–positive cells. The filaments also included broken cells and DNA fiber-form postlesional nuclei that were positive for TUNEL staining. However, those areas stained weakly for CK6 and HLA-DR; faintly for CK1, CK10, MUC1, and MUC4; and not at all for Ki67, TGase-1, and filaggrin.
conclusions. The results of this research have the potential to open new pathways toward understanding the mechanism that generates the filament in filamentary keratitis, as well as new treatments in the future.
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