Dry Eye Disease Might Impact Corneal Regeneration - medtigo



Dry Eye Disease Might Impact Corneal Regeneration

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According to a study published by ScitechDaily, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis discovered that proteins produced by stem cells that aid in cornea regeneration might be used to treat and prevent dry eye disease in mice.

The cornea is more sensitive to harm in dry eyes. Observing stem cells (in brilliant green) travel to the corneal center and begin growing into corneal cells in a mouse eye demonstrates how these cells contribute to the healing of corneal ulcers.   

Dry eye illness patients are more prone to endure corneal damage than healthy eye patients. Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis identified that proteins generated by stem cells during cornea regeneration might be potential targets for treating and preventing such injuries in a mouse study.

Dry eye illness occurs when the eye produces insufficient tears. Patients with this common condition are at a greater risk of developing corneal damage, despite using eye drops to replace the lost tears.  

While medications are available, only about 10%-15% of people benefit from them.” A key investigator in the study, Professor Rajendra S. Apte of the John F. Hardesty, MD, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, said. He also mentioned, “We were able to extract prospective treatment targets that differ in appearance between normal and dry eyes by using a collection of genes previously demonstrated to be important for eye health.

Tens of millions of individuals worldwide suffer from dry eye disease, with an estimated 15 million in the United States alone. We may be able to treat or prevent the problems and damage associated with dry eye disease by focusing on these proteins.”  

Several mice models of dry eye disease, diabetes, and other illnesses were used to study corneal gene expression. Scientists discovered that the cornea of dry-eyed mice activates the SPARC gene. Increased SPARC protein levels were also linked to improved healing. “We used single-cell RNA sequencing to uncover genes critical for corneal health,” MD/Ph.D. student Joseph B. Lin of Apte’s lab was cited as saying.

“We feel that some of them, notably SPARC, might be therapeutic targets for addressing dry eye illness and corneal damage.” Apte noted that corneal transplantation is particularly effective because “these stem cells are crucial and robust.” When our proteins fail to activate these cells in persons with dry eyes, we can preserve the cornea by implanting modified limbal stem cells. 

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