April 2011
Volume 52, Issue 14
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2011
The Role of the Transcription Factor SPDEF in Goblet Cell Differentiation in the Conjunctiva
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ilene Gipson
    Harvard Med Sch Dept Ophthalmology, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Albert Alhatem
    Harvard Med Sch Dept Ophthalmology, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Gang Chen
    Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Jeffrey Whitsett
    Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Hans Clever
    Hubrecht Institute, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  Ilene Gipson, None; Albert Alhatem, None; Gang Chen, None; Jeffrey Whitsett, None; Hans Clever, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  Supported by R01 EY03306 to IKG.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2011, Vol.52, 2584. doi:https://doi.org/
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    • Get Citation

      Ilene Gipson, Albert Alhatem, Gang Chen, Jeffrey Whitsett, Hans Clever; The Role of the Transcription Factor SPDEF in Goblet Cell Differentiation in the Conjunctiva. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):2584. doi: https://doi.org/.

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

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Abstract

Purpose: : Little is known regarding differentiation of goblet cells in the conjunctival epithelium. Mice null for the SAM (sterile alpha motif) pointed domain epithelia specific transcription factor (SPDEF) lack goblet cells in tracheobronchial epithelia. The purpose of this study was to determine if SPDEF regulates goblet cell differentiation in the conjunctiva.

Methods: : Conjunctival tissue from mice null for SPDEF were examined by light microscopy for presence of goblet cells, the ocular surface of the mice was examined by fluorescein staining for surface changes, and tear volume was measured by cotton thread test. SPDEF was localized in human and mouse conjunctival epithelium by immunohistochemistry. The amount of SPDEF mRNA in conjunctival biopsies from patients with Sjögren’s Dry Eye with documented downregulation of the goblet cell mucin MUC5AC was compared to that of normal conjunctiva using real-time PCR.

Results: : Conjunctival epithelia of SPDEF -/- mice lacked goblet cells and occasional inflammatory cells were present in SPDEF -/- epithelium. There was no obvious corneal or eyelid phenotype in the null mice, and there was no fluorescein staining of the ocular surface. Tear fluid levels were, however, significantly increased. SPDEF protein was localized in conjunctival goblet cell nuclei by immunohistochemistry in both human and mouse conjunctival epithelium. A significant decrease in SPDEF mRNA was found in conjunctival epithelial samples from patients with dry eye resulting from Sjögren’s Syndrome as compared to that from normal subjects. These data are opposite that found in tracheal epithelial disease where chronic inflammation leads to goblet cell proliferation in response to increased SPDEF expression.

Conclusions: : Taken together these data indicate that SPDEF is involved in regulation of goblet cell differentiation in the conjunctiva, but goblet cell differentiation in the conjunctival epithelium in response to chronic inflammation differs from that of the tracheal epithelium.

Keywords: conjunctiva • differentiation • pathology: human 
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