A sight threatening, pterygium is a common ocular surface disorders identified by fibrovascular growth of the cornea and induced by variety of stress factors, like ultraviolet (UV) exposure. However, the genes involved in the etiopathogenesis of this disease is not well studied. Herein, we identified the gene expression pattern of pterygium and examined the expression of pterygium-related genes in UV-B-induced human primary cultured corneal epithelial cells (HCEpCs), telomerase immortalized human corneal epithelial (hTCEpi), primary conjunctival fibroblast (HConFs) and primary pterygium fibroblast cells (HPFCs). A careful analysis revealed that the expression of 10 genes was significantly modulated (by > 10-fold). Keratin 24 (KRT24) and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) were dramatically upregulated by 49.446- and 24.214-fold, respectively. Intriguingly, UV-B exposure (50 J/m2) induced the upregulation of the expressions of MMP-9 in corneal epithelial cells such as HCEpCs and hTCEpi. Furthermore, UV-B exposure (100 and/or 200 J/m2) induced the upregulation of the expressions of MMP-9 in fibroblast such as HConFs and HPFCs. The exposure of HCEpCs to 100 and 200 J/m2 UV-B induced significant expressions of KRT24 mRNA. Nevertheless, no expression of KRT24 mRNA was detected in HConFs and HPFCs. The findings provide evidence that the progression of pterygium may involve the modulation of extracellular matrix-related genes and vasculature development and the up-regulation of KRT24 and MMP-9 by UV stress. UV radiation may promote the modulation of these pterygium-related genes and induce the initiation and progression of human pterygium.
- Conjunctival fibroblast
- Corneal epithelial cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience