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Sci Rep. 2015 Dec 16;5:18362. doi: 10.1038/srep18362.

Lacritin Salvages Human Corneal Epithelial Cells from Lipopolysaccharide Induced Cell Death.

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School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad, Gachibowli, Hyderabad, India 500046.


Innate immunity of the corneal epithelium is conferred by proteinaceous secretions from the epithelium and associated lacrimal and meibomian glands. Lacritin, an eye-specific protein with anti-microbial, cytoprotective and wound-healing properties, predominantly secreted by lacrimal glands, is absent in conditions such as Dry eye and Keratitis. In view of the biological significance of lacritin in human eye, we investigated its role in human corneal epithelial (HCE) cells during lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced infection. LPS-challenged HCE cells demonstrated apoptosis-mediated cell death and elevated lacritin levels. The LPS-induced cell death is alleviated with exogenous supplementation of recombinant lacritin. This cytoprotective effect of lacritin is mediated through Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). This study is the first to highlight the protective role of lacritin and mechanism of its action during bacterial infection of cornea in vitro.

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