January 1996
Volume 37, Issue 1
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Articles  |   January 1996
Detection of transforming growth factor-alpha mRNA and protein in rat lacrimal glands and characterization of transforming growth factor-alpha in human tears.
Author Affiliations
  • G B van Setten
    St. Eriks Eye Clinic, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • S Macauley
    St. Eriks Eye Clinic, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • M Humphreys-Beher
    St. Eriks Eye Clinic, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • N Chegini
    St. Eriks Eye Clinic, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • G Schultz
    St. Eriks Eye Clinic, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science January 1996, Vol.37, 166-173. doi:
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      G B van Setten, S Macauley, M Humphreys-Beher, N Chegini, G Schultz; Detection of transforming growth factor-alpha mRNA and protein in rat lacrimal glands and characterization of transforming growth factor-alpha in human tears.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1996;37(1):166-173.

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

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Abstract

PURPOSE: To assess whether the lacrimal gland is a possible site of synthesis of transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha) and to characterize TGF-alpha biochemically in human tears. METHODS: Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) amplification was used to analyze rat lacrimal glands for the presence of TGF-alpha mRNA. Specific monoclonal antibodies were used to localize TGF-alpha immunohistochemically in lacrimal gland tissue of rats. Human tears were analyzed for immunoreactive TGF-alpha protein using a specific radioimmunoassay, and the molecular weight of TGF-alpha in tears was characterized by Western blot analysis. RESULTS: RT-PCR amplification of rat lacrimal gland RNA generated a band of the predicted 492 base pairs for TGF-alpha mRNA. Immunohistochemical staining of rat lacrimal gland localized TGF-alpha protein to lacrymocytes constituting acini but not to interacinar and intraacinar ducts of lacrimal glands. Western blot analysis of human tears detected a single band at MWt 16,000. Logit transformation of radioimmunoassay data for tears and TGF-alpha standard generated parallel displacement lines, indicating the presence of immunoreactive TGF-alpha levels in human tears with an average concentration of 100 +/- 20 pg/ml (mean +/- SEM). CONCLUSIONS: Rat lacrymocytes synthesize TGF-alpha mRNA and protein, and human tears contain immunoreactive TGF-alpha, suggesting that the lacrimal gland may be an exocrine source for TGF-alpha in tears. The single MWt 16,000 form of TGF-alpha in human tears appears to be generated by an unusual proteolytically processing of the pro-TGF-alpha transmembrane precursor protein.

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