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Exp Eye Res. 2006 Sep;83(3):526-35. Epub 2006 Apr 27.

Corticosteroid and doxycycline suppress MMP-9 and inflammatory cytokine expression, MAPK activation in the corneal epithelium in experimental dry eye.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Cullen Eye Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, 6565 Fannin Street, NC 205, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


We investigated the effects of corticosteroid and doxycycline on expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and inflammatory cytokines and activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways, c-jun N-terminal kinases (JNK), extracellular-regulated kinases (ERK) and p38, in experimental murine dry eye. Experimental dry eye (EDE) was created in C57BL6 mice, with or without or topical treatment consisting of 1% methylprednisolone, 0.025% doxycycline or balanced salt solution four times per day. MMP-9 expression in the cornea epithelia was evaluated by laser scanning confocal microscopy. Gelatinase activity in the cornea was evaluated by in situ zymography and MMP-9 activity in tear washings was evaluated by gelatin zymography. Total and phosphorylated MAPKs (JNK1/2, ERK1/2, p38) were detected by Luminex immunobead assay. Levels of MMP-9, interleukin (IL)-1alpha, IL-1beta and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha RNA transcripts were evaluated by real-time PCR. MMP-9 immunoreactivity was localized to the apical corneal epithelial cell membranes in normal control eyes. Desiccating stress significantly increased production of MMP-9 by the corneal epithelium and increased its activity in the corneal epithelium and tear fluid. Dryness also increased expression of IL-1alpha, IL-1beta and TNF-alpha mRNA and stimulated phosphorylation of JNK1/2, ERK1/2 and p38 MAPKs in the corneal epithelium. Both methylprednisolone and doxycycline reduced expression and activity of MMP-9, decreased levels of inflammatory cytokines transcripts and reduced activation of MAPKs in the corneal epithelium in response to EDE. Desiccating stress stimulates expression of MMP-9, IL-1alpha, IL-1beta and TNF-alpha mRNA , as well as activates MAPK signaling pathways in the corneal epithelium. Both corticosteroid and doxycycline suppressed this molecular stress response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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