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Mehrnoosh Saghizadeh, Andrei A. Kramerov, Jian Tajbakhsh, Annette M. Aoki, Charles Wang, Ning-Ning Chai, Julia Y. Ljubimova, Takako Sasaki, Gabriel Sosne, Marc R. J. Carlson, Stanley F. Nelson, Alexander V. Ljubimov; Proteinase and Growth Factor Alterations Revealed by Gene Microarray Analysis of Human Diabetic Corneas. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(10):3604-3615. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.04-1507.
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purpose. To identify proteinases and growth factors abnormally expressed in human corneas of donors with diabetic retinopathy (DR), additional to previously described matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-10 and -3 and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I.
methods. RNA was isolated from 35 normal, diabetic, and DR autopsy human corneas ex vivo or after organ culture. Amplified cRNA was analyzed using 22,000-gene microarrays (Agilent Technologies, Palo Alto, CA). Gene expression in each diabetic corneal cRNA was assessed against pooled cRNA from 7 to 9 normal corneas. Select differentially expressed genes were validated by quantitative real-time RT-PCR (QPCR) and immunohistochemistry. Organ cultures were treated with a cathepsin inhibitor, cystatin C, or MMP-10.
results. More than 100 genes were upregulated and 2200 were downregulated in DR corneas. Expression of cathepsin F and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) genes was increased in ex vivo and organ-cultured DR corneas compared with normal corneas. HGF receptor c-met, fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-3, its receptor FGFR3, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-4, laminin α4 chain, and thymosin β4 genes were downregulated. The data were corroborated by QPCR and immunohistochemistry analyses; main changes of these components occurred in corneal epithelium. In organ-cultured DR corneas, cystatin C increased laminin-10 and integrin α3β1, whereas in normal corneas MMP-10 decreased laminin-10 and integrin α3β1 expression.
conclusions. Elevated cathepsin F and the ability of its inhibitor to produce a more normal phenotype in diabetic corneas suggest increased proteolysis in these corneas. Proteinase changes may result from abnormalities of growth factors, such as HGF and FGF-3, in DR corneas. Specific modulation of proteinases and growth factors could reduce diabetic corneal epitheliopathy.
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