April 2014
Volume 55, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2014
Effects of Vitamin D Receptor Knockout on Cornea Epithelium Gap Junctions
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mitchell A Watsky
    Cell Biology and Anatomy, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, GA
    The Graduate School, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, GA
  • Xiaowen Lu
    Cell Biology and Anatomy, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, GA
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Mitchell Watsky, None; Xiaowen Lu, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2014, Vol.55, 5498. doi:
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      Mitchell A Watsky, Xiaowen Lu; Effects of Vitamin D Receptor Knockout on Cornea Epithelium Gap Junctions. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):5498.

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

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Purpose: Vitamin D has been shown to influence cell differentiation, and recent work demonstrates the presence of vitamin D in the ocular anterior segment. This study examined the influence of vitamin D receptor (VDR) knockout on epithelial gap junction communication in intact corneas using a non-invasive technique, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP).

Methods: Heterozygous VDR knockout mice were obtained from The Jackson Labs and bred. Corneas from VDR knockout and control mice were stained with 5(6)-carboxyflluorescein diacetate. Gap junction diffusion coefficients of the corneal epithelium phenotypes, residing in intact corneas, were detected using FRAP.

Results: Corneal thickness, cell size and the superficial squamous cell diffusion coefficient of VDR knockout mice were significantly lower than those of control mice. The superficial cell diffusion coefficient of heterozygous mice was also significantly lower than control mice.

Conclusions: The morphology supports previous work from our laboratory indicating vitamin D is involved in corneal epithelial tight junction control and points to a possible role of vitamin D and VDR in corneal epithelial regeneration. Meanwhile, we found that the squamous cells of VDR (-/-) mice had lower diffusion coefficients than those of VDR (+/+) mice. Thus, VDR and likely vitamin D modulation of gap junctions may be involved in the regeneration and development of corneal epithelium.

Keywords: 482 cornea: epithelium • 447 cell-cell communication • 480 cornea: basic science  

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