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Z. Li, A. Burns, R. Rumbaut, C. Smith; Sex Differences in Corneal Epithelial Wound Healing in Mice. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):2403.
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Significant sexual dimorphism has been demonstrated in innate and adaptive immunity. In this study, we investigated the influence of sex differences on corneal epithelial wound healing process.
Corneal re-epithelialization, epithelial cell division, neutrophil influx, and platelet accumulation were assessed in C57BL/6 mice after removal of a 2-mm diameter area of central corneal epithelium. Comparisons were made between age-matched male and female mice.
After central corneal epithelial abrasion, wounds from female mice closed 6 hours earlier than those from male mice. The temporal profiles of inflammatory cell recruitment differed significantly between male and female mice. In comparison to male mice, female mice had a 6-hour delay in peak accumulation of platelets in the limbus (12 vs. 18 hours, respectively) and a 24-hour delay in peak neutrophil emigration to the epithelial wound (12 vs. 24 hours, respectively). In contrast to platelets and neutrophils the timing of epithelial cell division was not different between the sexes, although female mice had significantly more dividing cells than male mice.
This study indicates that mechanical wounds to mouse corneal epithelium reveal significant sex differences in re-epithelialization, epithelial cell division, neutrophil infiltration, and platelet accumulation in the limbus.
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