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Carolina Mercado, Angela Gomez, Enrique Salero, Nandini Venkateswaran, Borja de la Sen, Alfonso L. Sabater; Plasma Rich in Growth Factors (PRGF) Enhances Corneal Endothelial Cells Survival and Proliferation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):4094. doi: https://doi.org/.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Postoperative endothelial cell loss remains a major challenge associated with penetrating and posterior lamellar keratoplasty graft survival. Apoptosis has been identified as the principal underlying mechanism for endothelial cell loss following corneal transplantation. It has been shown that plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF-Endoret) is able to activate intracellular survival pathways and block apoptosis. We hypothesized that a short intraoperative incubation of human corneal grafts in PRGF-Endoret can protect corneal endothelial cells from apoptosis, and therefore, improve graft survival.
Human corneal grafts were incubated in PRGF-Endoret for 15, 30 and 60 minutes to determine the minimum time required to activate cell survival pathways by gene expression and protein analysis. An experimental peroxide apoptotic model was used to evaluate the protective effect of PRGF-Endoret. Corneal grafts were incubated in hydrogen peroxide at different time points, with and without a previous exposure to PRGF-Endoret. Activation of survival and apoptosis markers was evaluated by RT-qPCR. Endothelial cell viability was determined. TUNEL assay was performed to determine the rate of corneal endothelial cell apoptosis.
Endothelial cell survival pathways were activated after 15 minutes of incubation in PRGF-Endoret. Activation of survival pathways was maintained at 24 hours. Pre-incubation of corneal grafts in PRGF-Endoret downregulated apoptosis markers. TUNEL and cell viability assays confirmed the protective effect of PRGF from apoptosis.
A short incubation of human corneal grafts in PRGF-Endoret protects corneal endothelial cells from apoptosis by activating intracellular survival pathways. Future studies will be required to determine the short and long term effects of PRGF-Endoret on corneal graft survival.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
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