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F.J. Ollivier, D.E. Brooks, M.E. Kallberg, S.E. Andrew, A.M. Komaromy, M.E. Lassaline, T.D. Blalock, G.S. Schultz, G. Van Setten; Reduction in Matrix Metalloproteinase Activity in the Equine Tear Film During Corneal Healing . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):901.
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Purpose: In actively ulcerating horse corneas, levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) activities in tear film are significantly elevated, and are hypothesized to contribute to the breakdown of stromal collagen. Changes in the amount of proteolytic activity in horse tear films during corneal healing and stromal remodeling have not yet been reported, but we hypothesize they should decrease. We analyzed tear protease activity during healing of corneal ulcers in horses to test this hypothesis. Methods: Tear film MMPs activity (for MMP2 and MMP9) was determined by quantitative gelatin zymography from two horses with corneal ulcers. In case 1, a 6-year-old Arab mare had bilateral ulcers. In case 2, a 6-month-old thoroughbred foal presented a melting corneal ulcer in OS. In both cases, the medical treatment included topical applications of equine serum, antibiotics, atropine, and systemic administration of anti-inflammatory drugs. For case 2, a conjunctival pedicle graft was performed on day 1 in addition to the medical treatment. Samples of tear fluid were obtained from both eyes on day 1, 5 and 9 in case 1 and from OS at day 1, 2, 3 and 7 in case 2. Results: Total MMPs activity decreased in tears as healing progressed compared to levels measured on day 1 as reported below. *= ulcerated eye,**= ulcer healed. Conclusions: Medical and surgical treatment of the corneal ulcers in these horses lead to a reduction in tear film proteolytic activity that corresponded with the improvement in the clinical signs of corneal ulceration. Corneal ulcers in horses are associated with initially high levels of tear film proteolytic activity which decreases as the ulcers heal. Measurement of MMPs activity in the equine tear film might represent a way to monitor the progression of corneal healing in horses with ulcerative keratitis. Total MMPs activity measured by quantitative gelatin zymography (% of day 1 activity) View OriginalDownload SlideView OriginalDownload Slide
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