September 2016
Volume 57, Issue 12
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Relationships between central corneal nerve parameters and tear neuropeptides
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Fiona Stapleton
    Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Kensington Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Cecilia Chao
    Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Kensington Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    College of Optometry, State University of New York, New York, New York, United States
  • Isabelle Jalbert
    Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Kensington Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Preeji Sudharman Mandathara
    Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Kensington Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Sailesh Kolanu
    Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Kensington Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Mark D P Willcox
    Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Kensington Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Maria Markoulli
    Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Kensington Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Jingjing You
    Save Sight Institute, Sydney University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Kensington Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Juno Kim
    Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Kensington Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Edward Lum
    Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Kensington Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Blanka Golebiowski
    Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Kensington Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Fiona Stapleton, None; Cecilia Chao, None; Isabelle Jalbert, None; Preeji Mandathara, None; Sailesh Kolanu, None; Mark Willcox, None; Maria Markoulli, None; Jingjing You, None; Juno Kim, None; Edward Lum, None; Blanka Golebiowski, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 2016, Vol.57, No Pagination Specified. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      Fiona Stapleton, Cecilia Chao, Isabelle Jalbert, Preeji Sudharman Mandathara, Sailesh Kolanu, Mark D P Willcox, Maria Markoulli, Jingjing You, Juno Kim, Edward Lum, Blanka Golebiowski; Relationships between central corneal nerve parameters and tear neuropeptides
      . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 201657(12):.

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      © 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

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Abstract

Purpose : Tear neuropeptide levels are likely to be relevant in the maintenance of normal corneal nerve morphology and function. This study evaluated associations between central corneal nerve parameters using in vivo confocal microscopy and the most abundant tear neuropeptides, Substance P (SP) and Calcitonin Gene Related Peptide (CGRP) in humans.

Methods : Participants (n=189) aged 16-76 years, included normal (n=97), post-LASIK (n=20), keratoconic (n=28), allergic (n=22), itchy eyes (n=13) and diabetic (n=9) subjects. One eye of each subject underwent imaging of the central corneal subbasal nerve plexus using an in vivo laser scanning confocal microscope. Nerve fibre density (NFD), nerve fibre interconnections (NFI), average nerve fibre width (NFW) and nerve fibre tortuosity gradings (NFT) were evaluated. Tears were collected and levels of SP and CGRP were measured using commercially available ELISAs. Associations between tear neuropeptides and central nerve fibre parameters were evaluated using Pearson or Spearman correlation tests as appropriate, and partial correlations were used to control for age and contact lens use. Within the normal group, the effects of age and contact lens wear were evaluated using a grouped t-test.

Results : After controlling for age, tear CGRP levels were associated with nerve fibre tortuosity grade, (r=0.56, p<0.001). There were no other associations between tear neuropeptides and nerve fibre parameters. Neither contact lens wear nor age consistently affected tear SP or CGRP or nerve fibre parameters. There was a strong association between tear SP and CGRP levels in normals (r=0.81, p<0.001), however this relationship became less robust when data for the post-LASIK and keratoconus groups were added to the model.

Conclusions : Tear neuropeptide levels appear consistent with age and were unaffected by contact lens wear. Of all the nerve morphology variables, nerve fibre tortuosity was significantly associated with tear CGRP in all subjects. Higher nerve tortuosity and tear CGRP levels were observed in post-LASIK and keratoconic subjects, which may be consistent with nerve remodelling or reinnervation in these groups. Tear SP and CGRP appear to be strongly associated in a normal ocular surface although this relationship appears to be disrupted in certain diseases affecting corneal nerves.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.

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