The levels of hypoxia- and angiogenesis-related regulators and matrix metalloproteinase 9 activity in tear fluid of patients with non-penetrating ocular traumas
Keywords:tear fluid, corneal trauma, D-dimer, HIF-1α, angiostatins, matrix metalloproteinase 9
This article was focused on the evaluation of protein biomarkers related to thrombosis, hypoxia, angiogenesis, and tissue remodeling in tear fluid of patients with non-penetrating corneal trauma. 32 patients with non-penetrating corneal injures were enrolled in the study, the control group consisted of 15 healthy patients. Samples of tear fluid were collected from the patients and control volunteers with the use of a disposable end micropipette. Protein levels of D-dimer, hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α), angiostatins, and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) in tear fluids were determined by western blot analysis. Proteolytic activity values of MMP-9 were measured by gelatin zymography. Results of western blot and zymography assay were calculated by densitometry analysis and expressed as arbitrary units. Significant increase of D-dimer and HIF-1α levels in tear fluid of patients with injured cornea by 7.3 (p<0.05) and 56 (p<0.001) folds, respectively was shown, compared with control, indicating thrombotic events and hypoxia condition to be involved in pathogenesis of ocular trauma. Dramatically elevated levels/activity of MMP-9 enzyme (by 105 folds vs. control, p<0.001) suggests intense tissue remodeling and degradation of extracellular matrix in the damaged cornea. Up-regulation of angiostatin level, products of proteolytical cleavage of plasminogen, in tear fluid collected from patients with traumatic eye in comparison with healthy volunteers (by 7.3 folds, p<0.05), could represent an adaptive mechanism, which counteracts excessive hypoxia-induced neovascularization of injured cornea. It is summarized that there was a strong association between elevation of D-dimer, HIF-1α, angiostatins, and MMP-9 levels suggesting thrombosis- and hypoxia-mediated mechanisms triggering wound healing of injured cornea. The findings of this study are novel and provide a basis for further investigations of the reparation mechanisms during non-penetrating ocular trauma. Studied proteins of tear fluid can serve as relevant biomarkers of corneal wound healing and are appropriate for diagnostic and prognostic purposes.
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