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Lingjia Liu, Wenbo Cheng, Di Wu, Luxia Chen, Shasha Yu, Tong Zuo, Lin Zhang, Kun Yang, Hua Li, Hui Zhang, Pinghui Wei, Alex Lap Ki Ng, George Pak-Man Cheng, Victor Chi-Pang Woo, Jia Yin, Kin Chiu, Yan Wang; The Differential Expression of Cytokines and Growth Factors After SMILE Compared With FS-LASIK in Rabbits. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(5):55. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.61.5.55.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate the differential expression of cytokines and growth factors in the cornea and aqueous humor after small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) compared with femtosecond LASIK (FS-LASIK) using rabbit model.
Sixteen eyes of 16 rabbits in each group underwent SMILE or FS-LASIK with refractive correction of −6.00 DS/−1.00 DC. Eight additional rabbits served as controls. Pre- and 24 hours, 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months postoperatively, slit-lamp and anterior segment optical coherence tomography were performed, followed by cornea and aqueous humor collection. Apoptosis and proliferation were evaluated with TUNEL assay and Ki-67 immunostaining, respectively. The mRNA and protein expression of cytokines and growth factors was determined by RT-qPCR and Western blotting, respectively. Cytokine levels in the aqueous humor were detected with ELISA.
Compared with FS-LASIK, SMILE induced less apoptosis and proliferation in the cornea within 1 week postoperatively. Levels of IL-1β, TNF-α, and EGFR in the cornea were significantly increased after FS-LASIK compared with SMILE within 24 hours. Levels of IL-8 in the aqueous humor remained elevated until 1 week after FS-LASIK but not SMILE. TGF-β1 level was elevated up to 1 month after both procedures, while BFGF level was kept high within 1 month after SMILE but not FS-LASIK.
SMILE could induce significantly less acute inflammation than FS-LASIK in the cornea and aqueous humor. The differential expression of TGF-β1 and BFGF between two procedures until 1 month might contribute to the post-SMILE delayed recovery and underline the importance of continued treatment postoperatively.
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