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B. A. Bystrom, S. N. Popova, D. Gullberg, P. Fagerholm, F. Pedrosa-Domellof; Alpha11 Integrin in the Human Cornea and in an Animal Model of Corneal Scarring. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):4040.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To examine the distribution of integrin alpha11 chain during fetal development, in normal and diseased adult human corneas and in an animal model of corneal scarring.
Six fetal corneas, 10-20 weeks of gestation (wg), and 18 adult corneas (3 normal, 7 keratoconus, 5 bullous keratopathy (BKP), 2 Fuchs' dystrophy and one with a scar after previous deep lamellar keratoplasty (DLKP)) were processed for immunohistochemistry with a specific antibody against integrin alpha11 chain. Corneal healing after surgical trauma was studied in eight alpha11 integrin knockout mice and 8 controls.
At 10-17 wg alpha11 integrin chain was present in the human corneal stroma, especially in the anterior portion. At 20 wg, in normal adult corneas and in Fuchs' dystrophy corneas the staining was weak. The BKP corneas showed variable and generally weak staining, in many cases accentuated in the posterior stroma. In contrast, the anterior portion of the stroma was strongly stained in the keratoconus corneas with scarring. Preliminary results in this animal model of corneal scarring suggest a defective healing with posttraumatic thinner corneas in alpha11 integrin knockout mice.
Alpha11beta1 integrin is a receptor for interstitial collagens. The presence of alpha11 integrin chain during early corneal development, its novel expression in scarred keratoconus corneas together with pathologic healing of injured corneas in knockout mice, indicate that alpha11 integrin chain likely plays an important role in collagen deposition during corneal development and in disease with a scarring component.
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