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Roberto Reinoso, Margarita Calonge, Evangelina Castellanos, Mario Martino, Itziar Fernández, Michael E. Stern, Alfredo Corell; Differential Cell Proliferation, Apoptosis, and Immune Response in Healthy and Evaporative-Type Dry Eye Conjunctival Epithelia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(7):4819-4828. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-6073.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To assess cell viability and cell cycle kinetics of the conjunctival epithelium and to identify intraepithelial lymphocyte (IEL) subsets in patients with evaporative-type dry eye disease (ev-DED) caused by meibomian gland dysfunction and in healthy subjects. The effect of topical treatment and correlations between clinical symptoms and signs and epithelial and immune variables were also determined.
Inferior fornix and tarsal conjunctival cells were collected by brush cytology (BC) from patients with mild to moderate ev-DED (n = 23) before and after 2 months of treatment that included lid hygiene, artificial tears, and a 3-week course of topical unpreserved steroids. Healthy subjects (n = 17) served as controls. Two symptom questionnaires were self-answered, and multiple DED-related clinical tests were performed. Epithelial or immune lineage, IEL subtypes, cell viability, apoptosis, and cell cycle stage of the BC-recovered cells were determined by flow cytometry.
Conjunctival cell viability was dramatically decreased in ev-DED patients compared with controls. For both groups, two different cell populations, differentiated by cell size and complexity, were present in the apoptosis assay. After 2 months of treatment, 87% of subjects subjectively improved, CD8 cells increased, and CD4 cells and the CD4/CD8 ratio significantly decreased. The pretreatment and posttreatment proliferative capacity of the conjunctival epithelium was significantly lower in ev-DED patients than in healthy controls.
The viability and proliferative capacity of ev-DED patient conjunctival cells were reduced, suggesting a potential role for these parameters as disease biomarkers.
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