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S. Barabino, M. Rolando, S. Bonini, C. Mingari, S. Moretti, A. Micera, R. Dana; Toll–Like Receptor (TLR) 2 and TLR4 Expression in Dry Eye . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):5594.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Toll–like receptors (TLRs) have an important role in triggering the innate immune response. The aim of our study was to investigate in impression cytology specimens the expression of TLR2 and TLR4 by conjunctival cells in patients with dry eye compared with healthy subjects.
Impression cytology specimens were collected in 26 patients with dry eye with or without Sjögren’s syndrome and analyzed in a masked manner by flow cytometry. Antibodies directed to TLR2 and TLR4 were used in intact and permeabilized cells to evaluate membrane and cytoplasmic expression. The percentage of positive cells was calculated and levels of fluorescence quantified and compared with those obtained in 5 normal (non–dry eye) subjects. Specimens were evaluated also for TLR2 and TLR4 mRNA by real–time polymerase chain reaction.
Conjunctival cells were observed to significantly express TLR2 but not TLR4 mRNA in dry eye patients. No significant increase in intracellular protein expression for TLR2 (11.7 ± 14%) or TLR4 (8.2 ± 7.2%) was recorded by flow cytometry analysis in dry eye when compared to normal subjects (2.5 ± 1.1 %). Similarly, levels of expression and analysis on intact cells did not show any significant differences.
This pilot study indicates that TLR2 message, but not protein, is over–expressed in dry eyes. However, the functional implication of this finding and its potential role in regulating innate immunity in dry eyes remains to be determined.
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