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K. Juklova, K. Jirsova; Role of Matrix Metalloproteinases in a Process of Corneal Melting Affecting Corneal Grafts of Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):1971.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To compare the presence and activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 and 9 in human corneal grafts obtained during penetrating keratoplasty for corneal melting with normal human corneas.
Ten control corneal buttons and six melted corneas were used. All patients suffered from rheumatoid arthritis (RA); in three of them RA was associated with Sjögren's syndrome, in two with peripheral ulcerative keratitis, and in one with keratoconjunctivitis sicca. MMP 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 and 9 were detected using indirect enzyme immunohistochemistry. The activities of MMP 2, 9 and MMP 3, 7 were detected in 10 control and 4 melted specimens by gelatin or casein zymography, respectively. The MMP 1 activity was detected by an MMP 1 activity assay.
Weak staining for MMP 1, 2 and 8 were detected in normal corneal epithelium. Moderate MMP 1, 2 and 9 staining and weak staining for MMP 3, 7 and 8 were observed in the corneal epithelial fragments and in the anterior stroma of all melted corneas. Weak staining for MMP 1 and 2 was detected in the posterior stroma of all four melted corneas. A moderate presence of the proenzyme and a weak presence of the active form of MMP 2 were found in all control corneas by gelatin zymography. Only a weak presence of the MMP 9 proenzyme was detected in two out of ten controls. The active form of MMP 2 was strongly present in 3 of 4 melted corneas; one of these corneas also showed the strong presence of the proenzyme. The remaining melted cornea displayed a weak presence of both the proenzyme and the active form. The presence of both forms of MMP 9 was extremely strong in three and moderate in one of four tested melted corneas. Casein zymography revealed no presence of MMP 3 or 7 in any control cornea. A moderate to strong presence of MMP 7 proenzyme was detected in all four melted corneas. Active MMP 1 was detected in all four melted corneas, whereas the controls were negative.
The increased presence and activity of MMP 1, 2, and 9 in melted corneal grafts suggest that these enzymes may be responsible for the destruction of the extracellular matrix seen in grafts undergoing corneal melting.
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