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Minerva Oftalmologica 2002 March;44(1):1-4

Copyright © 2002 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Oxygen effects on normal and contact lens-perturbed corneal epithelium

Cavanagh H. D., Li S., Yamamoto K., Ladage P. M., Petroll W. M., Jester J. V.


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Background. To determine the effect(s) of open or closed eye and overnight contact lens (CTL) wear on rabbit corneal epithelial homeostasis.
Methods. Rabbits were fit unilaterally with CTLs of varying O2-transmission for up to 7 days with the contralateral eyes serving as controls or sutured closed. Surface cell apoptosis was measured in situ using Annexin-V binding, ethidium homodimer viability assay, and Bcl-2 or TUNEL immunocytochemical localization and Western blotting.
Results. 1) Open eye conditions (no lens) showed a central peak of non-viable corneal surface cells with 10.8±3.3 Bcl-2-negative and 3.5±1.7 TUNEL-positive cells/mm2; 2) closed eye conditions (no lens) significantly reduced the number of non-viable apoptotic surface cells (p<0.05); 3) all rigid gas permeable (RGP) or soft lens (SCTL) wear decreased corneal surface cell apoptosis with a significant decrease in Bcl-2-negative and TUNEL-positive surface cells (p<0.05).
Conclusions. 1) The O2-related Bcl-2 protein appears to play an important role in the regulation of apoptotic shedding in the normal rabbit corneal epithelium; all Bcl-2-positive cells are uniformly TUNEL-negative; 2) eyelid closure or the physical presence of the contact lens may protect against eyelid shear forces exerted by blinking; all lens wear decreases surface cell apoptosis associated with retained Bcl-2 expression.

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