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Ute Schulze, Ulrike Hampel, Saadettin Sel, Laura Contreras-Ruiz, Martin Schicht, Julia Dieckow, Yolanda Diebold, Friedrich Paulsen; Trefoil Factor Family Peptide 3 (TFF3) is Upregulated Under Experimental Conditions Similar to Dry Eye Disease and Supports Corneal Wound Healing Effects In Vitro. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(5):3037-3042. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.13-13423.
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Toelucidate the role of trefoil family peptide (TFF) 3 at the ocular surface under conditions similar to dry eye disease (DED) and in tears of patients suffering from DED.
Trefoil family peptide 3 levels in tear samples from non-Sjögren's DED patients with moderate dry eye were analyzed by ELISA and compared with tears from healthy volunteers. A human corneal epithelial (HCE) cell line was treated with proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β and TNF-α, hyperosmolar medium, or scratching for up to 24 hours. Trefoil family peptide 3 gene expression and protein biosynthesis were analyzed by RT-PCR, immunofluorescence, and ELISA. Migration and proliferation of HCE cells under recombinant (r) human (h) trefoil factor family peptide 3 (TFF3) stimulation were investigated by scratching and bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) proliferation assays.
Tears of patients suffering from DED contained significantly higher TFF3 levels than tears from healthy volunteers. Stimulation of HCE cells with proinflammatory cytokines, culture under hyperosmolar conditions, or scratching resulted, with the exception of hyperosmolar conditions, in an increase in TFF3 expression and elevated secretion level of TFF3. Cell proliferation decreased and cell migration increased after 24-hours stimulation with rhTFF3.
These results suggest that inflammatory factors or ocular surface damage as they occur in DED, lead to an increase of TFF3 tear film concentration, whereas hyperosmolarity does not. Our data underline a potential role for TFF3 as a candidate therapeutic for the ocular surface damage observed in DED.
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