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Aoi Komuro, Norihiko Yokoi, Hidenori Fukuoka, Shigeru Kinoshita; Evaluation Of Galection-3 Expression In Rose Bengal-stained Conjunctival Epithelium. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):3994.
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Galectin-3 is a β-galactoside-binding protein, and structurally it is a chimera-type lectin composed of a sugar-chain-binding domain (galectin domain) and a non-lectin domain. Galectin-3 is expressed on apical membranes of corneal and conjunctival epithelia, and it interacts with mucin (MUC)-1 and MUC16 in a carbohydrate-dependent manner. In vitro experiments showed that MUC-galectin-3 interactions function as a mucosal epithelial barrier against rose bengal (RB) staining. The purpose of this present study was to evaluate the expression of galectin-3 on conjunctival samples obtained from the superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis (SLK) patient and patient with SLK-like conjunctival damage which contained the area that stained densely with RB, a stain that is used to localize the abnormal conjunctival area.
his study involved 2 eyes of 1 case of SLK (female, 51 years of age) and 1 eye of 1 case of SLK-like conjunctival damage after plastic surgery on the upper eyelid (female, 81 years of age). Since both cases did not respond to treatment with topical steroid and artificial tears, upper conjunctival resection including the abnormal area which stained with RB was performed. Immunofluorescent staining with anti-galectin-3 antibody was then performed on those conjunctival samples.
In all conjunctival samples, the normal healthy areas (no RB staining) showed galectin-3 expression, while the abnormal areas (RB staining area) showed no galectin-3 expression.
The findings of this study showed that there was no galectin-3 expression in the abnormal conjunctiva areas that stained densely with RB, thus indicating that a disturbance of the mucosal epithelial barrier function in the abnormal area of the conjunctiva in SLK.
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