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Eye Contact Lens. 2010 Sep;36(5):300-4. doi: 10.1097/ICL.0b013e3181f016d0.

Translational research in corneal epithelial wound healing.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Yamaguchi University Graduate School of Medicine, Ube, Yamaguchi, Japan.



To review both the roles of fibronectin and the sensory neurotransmitter substance P in corneal epithelial wound healing and the clinical application of these agents to treat persistent corneal epithelial defects.


Fibronectin is expressed at the site of corneal epithelial defects, serves as a provisional matrix for the migration of epithelial cells, and stimulates epithelial wound healing in vitro and in animal models. Eyedrops containing autologous plasma fibronectin are also effective for the treatment of persistent epithelial defects of the cornea in patients. Substance P and insulin-like growth factor-1 synergistically stimulate corneal epithelial wound healing in vitro and in animal models. Furthermore, the administration of eyedrops containing both a substance P-derived peptide (FGLM-amide) and insulin-like growth factor-1-derived peptide (SSSR) is effective for the treatment of persistent epithelial defects in individuals with neurotrophic keratopathy.


Basic research on the mechanism of corneal epithelial wound healing has the potential to lead to the development of new modes of treatment for persistent corneal epithelial defects. Clinical experience with eyedrops containing fibronectin or both FGLM-amide and SSSR has highlighted the importance of the basement membrane and neural stimuli in maintenance of the integrity of the normal corneal epithelium.

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