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Nina Matheis, Franz H. Grus, Matthias Breitenfeld, Ivo Knych, Sebastian Funke, Susanne Pitz, Katharina A. Ponto, Norbert Pfeiffer, George J. Kahaly; Proteomics Differentiate Between Thyroid-Associated Orbitopathy and Dry Eye Syndrome. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(4):2649-2656. doi: 10.1167/iovs.15-16699.
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In patients with thyroid-associated orbitopathy (TAO), the dry eye syndrome occurs frequently, and symptoms and signs of both disorders overlap making early and accurate differential diagnosis difficult. A differentiation via specific markers is warranted.
Tear fluid samples of 120 subjects with TAO, TAO + dry eye, dry eye, and controls were collected. The samples were measured using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry. The identified proteins were tested with antibody microarrays.
Proteomics identified deregulated proteins in TAO and dry eye. Compared with dry eye, proline-rich protein 1 (PROL1, P = 0.002); uridine diphosphate (UDP)–glucose-dehydrogenase (UGDH, P = 0.017); calgranulin A (S10A8, P < 0.0001); transcription-activator BRG1 (SMCA4, P < 0.0001); annexin A1 (P = 0.007); cystatin (P = 0.009); heat shock protein 27 (P = 0.03); and galectin (P = 0.04) were markedly downregulated in TAO. Compared with healthy controls, PROL1 (P < 0.05.); proline-rich protein 4 (PRP4, P < 0.05), S10A8 (P = 0.004) and SMCA4 (P = 0.002) were downregulated in TAO. In contrast, the proteins midasin and POTE-ankyrin–domain family-member I were upregulated in TAO versus healthy controls (P < 0.05). Protein dysregulation was associated with inflammatory response and cell death. Antibody microarray confirmed significant changes of PRP4, PROL1, and UGDH between TAO and dry eye or healthy controls (P < 0.01). The presence of these three proteins was negatively correlated with smoking (P < 0.05).
Proteomics of tear fluid demonstrated an upregulation of inflammatory proteins versus a downregulation of protective proteins in TAO, and a significantly different protein panel in TAO versus dry eye and/or controls. The spectrum of inflammatory and protective proteins might be a useful indicator for disease activity and ocular surface disease in patients with TAO.
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