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Arq Bras Oftalmol. 2011 Mar-Apr;74(2):118-22.

Cytokeratin expression in corneal dystrophies.

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  • 1São Paulo Federal University, SP, Brazil.



To identify an immunohistochemical pattern of epithelial markers in granular, lattice and Avellino corneal dystrophies.


Twenty-two corneal buttons, diagnosed as lattice (17), Avellino (4) and granular (1) underwent immunohistochemical studies of cytokeratins (CKs) on paraffin-embedded sections (group I). Monoclonal antibodies for pan-CK (AE1/AE3) and CKs 3/12, 5/6, 8, 18 and 19 were used. Twenty-two normal corneas were used as the control (group II).


Six lattice and 2 Avellino cases of group I stained positively with anti-CK 3/12 in corneal epithelium and areas of corneal stroma deposits. One of these cases of lattice was positive for anti-pan-CK (AE1/AE3) also in the epithelium and areas of corneal stroma deposits with a similar pattern. None of the controls (group II) revealed any staining in corneal stroma. All disease and control cases (groups I and II) revealed positive staining in corneal epithelium.


AE1/AE3 and CK 3/12 anti-CK positive markers in the stromal deposits of lattice and Avellino dystrophies may suggest an epithelial genesis of the disease.

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