June 2013
Volume 54, Issue 15
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2013
Changes in corneal nerve morphology and epithelial wound healing after prolonged ocular dryness induced by lacrimal gland ablation
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kamila Mizerska
    Instituto de Neurociencias, Universidad Miguel Hernandez-CSIC, San Juan de Alicante, Spain
  • Nicolas Cuenca
    Departamento de Fisiología, Genética y Microbiología, Universidad de Alicante, Alicante, Spain
  • Carolina Luna
    Instituto de Neurociencias, Universidad Miguel Hernandez-CSIC, San Juan de Alicante, Spain
  • Susana Quirce
    Instituto de Neurociencias, Universidad Miguel Hernandez-CSIC, San Juan de Alicante, Spain
  • Laura Fernandez-Sanchez
    Departamento de Fisiología, Genética y Microbiología, Universidad de Alicante, Alicante, Spain
  • Illes Kovacs
    Department of Ophthalmology, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
  • M Carmen Acosta
    Instituto de Neurociencias, Universidad Miguel Hernandez-CSIC, San Juan de Alicante, Spain
  • Carlos Belmonte
    Instituto de Neurociencias, Universidad Miguel Hernandez-CSIC, San Juan de Alicante, Spain
  • Juana Gallar
    Instituto de Neurociencias, Universidad Miguel Hernandez-CSIC, San Juan de Alicante, Spain
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Kamila Mizerska, None; Nicolas Cuenca, Universidad de Alicante (P); Carolina Luna, None; Susana Quirce, None; Laura Fernandez-Sanchez, None; Illes Kovacs, None; M Carmen Acosta, None; Carlos Belmonte, None; Juana Gallar, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2013, Vol.54, 4312. doi:https://doi.org/
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      Kamila Mizerska, Nicolas Cuenca, Carolina Luna, Susana Quirce, Laura Fernandez-Sanchez, Illes Kovacs, M Carmen Acosta, Carlos Belmonte, Juana Gallar; Changes in corneal nerve morphology and epithelial wound healing after prolonged ocular dryness induced by lacrimal gland ablation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):4312. doi: https://doi.org/.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract
 
Purpose
 

To analyze the morphological changes of corneal nerves and corneal epithelial wound healing at different times (1-8 months) after surgical removal of the lacrimal gland in guinea-pigs.

 
Methods
 

The right exorbital lacrimal gland was surgically removed in anesthetized animals thereby inducing a chronic tear flow reduction (dry eye); 1, 2, 3, 4 and 8 months after surgery, eyes were fixed and cryoprotected. Whole-mount corneas were incubated with neuronal class III β-tubulin antibody and Alexa fluor 488. A set of corneas was incubated in ABC. Corneas of 6 non-operated guinea pigs served as control. Corneal epithelial wound healing was studied 1 and 6 months after surgery in 15 dry eyes and in 5 control eyes. Epithelium debridation was performed with a 2mm-diameter piece of paper soaked in n-heptanol. Lesions were stained with fluorescein and photographed regularly until complete closure. Images were analyzed with image processing software. Epithelial migration rate (EMR, in µm/h) and estimated time of healing (ETH, in hours) were calculated.

 
Results
 

Density and length of subbasal nerves decreased significantly after 1 month in dry eyes compared to control eyes. Subbasal nerves appeared less branched and the number of epithelial nerve terminals was significantly reduced. These effects were more prominent 2 months after induction of eye dryness. 4-8 months after tearing deficiency, density and length of subbasal corneal nerves had recovered values close to control, although nerve architecture was not fully normal. EMR was significantly decreased and ETH was significantly increased 1 and 6 months after surgery (Table 1), although at month 6th, ETH was partly recovered.

 
Conclusions
 

The changes in corneal subbasal nerve architecture 1-2 months after lacrimal gland removal suggest that nerve damage develops shortly after induction of reduced tearing, leading to a neurotrophic slowdown of epithelial wound healing. At longer times, regeneration of corneal nerves appears to restore in part the wound healing capabilities of the normal corneal epithelium.

  
Keywords: 565 innervation: sensation • 765 wound healing  
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