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Jennifer C. Fan Gaskin, I-Ping Loh, Charles N. J. McGhee, Trevor Sherwin; An Immunohistochemical Study of Inflammatory Cell Changes and Matrix Remodeling With and Without Acute Hydrops in Keratoconus. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(10):5831-5837. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-15123.
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To determine the inflammatory cell and matrix changes in advanced keratoconus, including acute hydrops, using immunohistochemical analysis.
The corneal tissue from eight subjects with keratoconus undergoing corneal transplantation (three keratoconic buttons, five buttons post acute hydrops—one of them with extensive neovascularization following hydrops) was compared with tissue from two normal corneoscleral rims (n = 10). The corneas were sectioned and analyzed with specific markers for macrophages, lymphocytes, dendritic cells, and scar associated matrix molecules laminin, fibronectin, tenascin-C, and type III collagen.
Populations of cells using markers for macrophages, leucocytes and antigen presenting cells were found to be associated with the epithelium and stroma of keratoconic tissue. Populations of these cells appeared decreased in hydrops-associated keratoconus except for a large increase in leucocytes in the stroma and endothelium associated with neovascularization. Extracellular matrix deposition was found to be uniquely demonstrated in localized areas of the stroma, corresponding to the site of hydrops involvement.
Immunohistochemical analysis revealed a chronic, inflammatory process with recruitment of immunoinflammatory cells and deposition of scar tissue in keratoconus. The inflammatory markers were somewhat attenuated in hydrops-associated keratoconus corneas and thus inflammation was not considered to be a major factor in the development of acute corneal hydrops.
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