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Expression of Neurotrophic Factors and their Receptors in Keratoconic Cornea

 Eui Sang Chung  ;  Kwang Hyun Lee  ;  Min Kim  ;  Eun Ju Chang  ;  Tae Young Chung  ;  Eung Kweon Kim  ;  Hyung Keun Lee 
 CURRENT EYE RESEARCH, Vol.38(7) : 743-750, 2013 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Adolescent ; Adult ; Biomarkers/metabolism ; Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor/genetics ; Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor/metabolism ; Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor/genetics ; Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor/metabolism ; Cornea/metabolism* ; Female ; Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect ; Gene Expression Regulation/physiology* ; Genetic Markers ; Humans ; Immunoenzyme Techniques ; Keratoconus/genetics* ; Keratoconus/metabolism ; Keratoconus/surgery ; Male ; Nerve Growth Factors/genetics* ; Nerve Growth Factors/metabolism ; Nerve Tissue Proteins/genetics ; Nerve Tissue Proteins/metabolism ; RNA, Messenger/metabolism* ; Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction ; Receptor, trkA/genetics ; Receptor, trkA/metabolism ; Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor/genetics* ; Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor/metabolism ; Young Adult
Ciliary neurotrophic factor ; keratoconus ; nerve growth factors ; p75NTR ; TrkA
Purpose: To measure the expression level and pattern of neurotrophic factors and their receptors in keratoconus (KC) cornea using quantitative RT-PCR (qPCR) and immunostaining.

Materials and Methods: Twenty-one recipient corneal buttons after keratoplasty from KC cornea and four age-matched normal corneas were obtained. The 25 corneal tissues were divided into two pieces; one fragment of each sample was used for immunostaining whereas the other fragment was used for qPCR. Using primary antibodies and specific qPCR primer, immunostaining and qPCR were performed to analyze the expression level of the neurotrophic factors and receptors.

Results: Nerve growth factor and its receptors (TrkA and p75NTR) were not expressed in the center of normal cornea. However, TrkA and the p75NTR were clearly expressed in a membrane bound staining pattern and the mRNA levels were significantly higher in KC (p < 0.001). The mRNA expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) and neurotrophin (NT)-4 mRNA was also elevated in KC (p < 0.001). BDNF was expressed in epithelium of normal cornea. However, in KC, its expression was found to be extending into the anterior stromal layer. CNTF was hardly expressed in normal cornea. In KC, the entire epithelium expressed CNTF, especially in perinuclear area. NT-4 was expressed throughout the epithelium and stroma in KC.

Conclusion: The change in expression of neurotrophic factors in KC may suggest that these factors play an important role in the pathogenesis of KC and serve as new markers for the progression of KC.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Ophthalmology (안과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Min(김민) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1873-6959
Kim, Eung Kweon(김응권) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1453-8042
Lee, Hyung Keun(이형근) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1123-2136
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