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Yukako Tatematsu, Yoko Ogawa, Shigeto Shinmura, Murat Dogru, Toshihiro Nagai, Saori Yaguchi, Kazuto Yamazaki, Kaori Kameyama, Yutaka Kawakami, Kazuo Tsubota; Mucosal Microvilli In Dry Eye Patients With Chronic Graft-versus-host Disease. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):3799.
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We investigated the histopathological features of the conjunctival microvilli in patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD).
Conjunctival tissue specimens from patients with cGVHD or Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) or from healthy individuals were examined by light and electron microscopy, impression cytology, and immunohistochemistry.
The cGVHD conjunctivae showed significantly more metaplasia and fewer goblet cells than the SS and normal conjunctivae. Abundant CD8+ T cells infiltrated the basal epithelia in the cGVHD conjunctiva. The microvilli per standard epithelial unit and the secretory vesicles were counted by analyzing electron micrographs. The mean number of mucosal microvilli was significantly lower in the cGVHD than in the SS or normal specimens, and the microvilli were significantly shorter, with a smaller height/width ratio. The mean number of secretory vesicles was also significantly lower, and the membrane-spanning mucin thinner, in the cGVHD compared with the SS and normal specimens.
The conjunctival mucosal microvilli of cGVHD patients were significantly different in number and morphology from those of SS and normal subjects. These may be key factors affecting the stability of the tear-film layer and its contribution to cGVHD-related dry eye.
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