Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-9-2019

Abstract

Purpose

Mucins are vital to keep the ocular surface hydrated. Genes encoding for mucins contain a glucocorticoid response element. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of fluorometholone, a glucocorticoid receptor agonist used in the management of dry eye, on the gene expression of conjunctival and corneal epithelial cell mucins.

Methods

Stratified cultures of human conjunctival and corneal epithelial cells were exposed to 25, 50 and 100 nM of fluorometholone alone or in presence of mifepristone, a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist. The mRNA was isolated from the cells and reverse transcribed to cDNA. The cDNA was used for quantification of gene expression of mucin (MUC) 1, 4, 16 and 19 using real‐time PCR.

Results

Fluorometholone caused a dose‐ and time‐dependent increase in the gene expression of MUC1, MUC4, MUC16 and MUC19 in the conjunctival as well as corneal epithelial cells. Mifepristone, a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist, inhibited fluorometholone‐mediated increase in the gene expression of conjunctival and corneal mucins. At the tested concentration, neither fluorometholone nor mifepristone caused any notable changes in the cellular phenotype or viability of conjunctival and corneal epithelial cells.

Conclusion

Fluorometholone increases the gene expression of MUC1, MUC4, MUC16 and MUC19 in the conjunctival and corneal epithelial cells through activation of glucocorticoid receptors. The increased expression of mucins can be an additional possible mechanism contributing to the beneficial effects of fluorometholone in dry eye in addition to its well‐known anti‐inflammatory effects.

Comments

This is the accepted version of the following article:

Taniguchi J, Sharma A. Fluorometholone modulates gene expression of ocular surface mucins. Acta Ophthalmologica. 2019. doi:10.1111/aos.14113

which has been published in final form at DOI: 10.1111/aos.14113. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

Copyright

Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Foundation

Available for download on Thursday, April 09, 2020

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