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AA Leonardi, A Tasinato, IA Fregona, M Plebani, AG Secchi; MMP-1, MMP-9 and TIMP-1 Tear Levels and Activity in Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):110.
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Purpose: To study metalloproteinase (MMP) levels and activity in tears of vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) patients with and without severe corneal damage. Methods: After clinical evaluation, tear samples were obtained from 16 active VKC patients and 10 normal subjects as a control group. Tear levels of MMP-1, proMMP-9 and their tissue inhibitor, TIMP-1, were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Collagenase and gelatinase activities were measured in tears by MMP activity assays. Results: Tear levels of MMP-1 and MMP-9, but not TIMP-1, were significantly increased in VKC patients compared to controls (p<0.001). MMP1/TIMP-1 and MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratios were also significantly increased in VKC (p<0.001). MMP-9 tear levels were correlated with the overall severity of the disease and with tear eosinophil count. Gelatinase activity was significantly increased in tears of VKC compared with controls (p<0.003), and was significantly correlated with corneal involvement and giant papillae formation. Conclusion: Increased levels and activity of MMP-1 and MMP-9, and the unbalance between these MMP and their inhibitor, TIMP-1, may be involved in the pathogenesis of VKC.
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