Published online 2011 Jan 14. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014537
1Department of Ophthalmology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
2Taipei Eye Center, Taipei, Taiwan
3Department of Ophthalmology, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
4College of Medicine, Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
5Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital at Linko, Chang-Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
6Department of Ophthalmology, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America
To examine the corneal epithelial phenotype in an altered basement membrane.
Corneas from 9 patients with symptoms of continuous unstable corneal curvature (CUCC) were harvested by penetrating keratoplasty and subjected to histology examination and immunohistochemical staining with transactivating and N-terminally truncated pP63 transcript (ΔNp63), cytokeratin 3 (Krt3), ATP-binding cassette sub-family G member 2 (ABCG2), connexin 43 (CX43), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (p38MAPK), activating protein 2 (TFAP2), and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk1/2) monoclonal antibodies. Positive immunostaining with ABCG2, p38MAPK, and TFAP2 monoclonal antibodies was observed in the basal epithelial cells of CUCC patients, and CX43 and ΔNp63 were detected in the full-thickness epithelial cells of CUCC patients.
Our results indicate that alteration of the corneal basement membrane induces a de-differentiation-like phenotype in corneal basal epithelial cells.