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S F Bernatchez, C Tabatabay, D Belin; Urokinase-type plasminogen activator in human aqueous humor.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1992;33(9):2687-2692.
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In the anterior segment of the eye, fibrin clots must be rapidly resorbed to prevent further fibrosis and scarring. The aqueous humor of patients undergoing cataract surgery was analyzed for the presence of components of the fibrinolytic cascade. In 30 patients, aqueous humor and plasma were compared for their content of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA), tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA), plasminogen activators inhibitors (PAIs), plasminogen, and total proteins. With gel electrophoresis and zymographic assays of serial dilutions of plasma and aqueous humor, all these components were found to be present at lower concentrations in aqueous humor than in plasma. For total proteins, the aqueous/plasma ratio was approximately 0.003, and for plasminogen it was 0.001. Interestingly, the aqueous/plasma ratio for uPA was not as low and varied from 0.01 to 0.03. A significant proportion of the uPA in aqueous humor was present in the two-chain active form. In addition to uPA, aqueous humor contained lower levels of tPA, but no detectable levels of reactive plasminogen activators inhibitors (PAIs). The presence of a relatively high concentration of active uPA shows that the proteolytic balance of the aqueous humor in the anterior chamber of the eye is shifted toward fibrinolysis.
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