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Fang Bian, Flavia S. A. Pelegrino, Stephen C. Pflugfelder, Eugene A. Volpe, De-Quan Li, Cintia S. de Paiva; Desiccating Stress-Induced MMP Production and Activity Worsens Wound Healing in Alkali-Burned Corneas. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(8):4908-4918. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.15-16631.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To evaluate the effects of dry eye on ocular surface protease activity and sight threatening corneal complications following ocular surface chemical injury.
C57BL/6 mice were subjected to unilateral alkali burn (AB) with or without concomitant dry eye for 2 or 5 days. Mice were observed daily for appearance of corneal perforation. Whole corneas were harvested and lysed for RNA extraction. Quantitative real-time PCR was performed to measure expression of inflammation cytokines, matrix metalloproteinases (MMP). Matrix metalloproteinase–9 activity, gelatinase activity, and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity were evaluated in corneal lysates. Presence of infiltrating neutrophils was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry.
Eyes subjected to the combined model of AB and dry eye (CM) had 20% sterile corneal perforation rate as soon as 1 day after the initial injury, which increased to 35% by 5 days, delayed wound closure and increased corneal opacity. Increased levels of IL-1β, -6, and MMPs-1, -3, -8, -9, and -13, and chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1 (CXCL1) transcripts were found after 2 days in CM compared with AB corneas. Increased MMP-1, -3, -9, and -13 immunoreactivity and gelatinolytic activity were seen in CM corneas compared with AB. Increased neutrophil infiltration and MPO activity was noted in the CM group compared with AB 2 days post injury.
Desiccating stress worsens outcome of ocular AB, creating a cytokine and protease storm with greater neutrophil infiltration, increasing the risk of corneal perforation.
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