Quantification of MUCIN 1, cell surface associated and MUCIN16, cell surface associated proteins in tears and conjunctival epithelial cells collected from postmenopausal women
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Purpose: To quantify the expression of mucin 1, cell surface associated (MUC1) and mucin 16, cell surface associated (MUC16) proteins and messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) in a cohort of postmenopausal women (PMW), to explore the relationship between mucin expression, dry eye symptomology, and tear stability.Methods: Thirty-nine healthy PMW (>50 years of age) were enrolled in this study. No specific inclusion criteria were used to define dry eye; instead, a range of subjects were recruited based on responses to the Allergan Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire and tear stability measurements as assessed by non-invasive tear breakup time (NITBUT). Tears were collected from the inferior tear meniscus using a disposable glass capillary tube, and total RNA and total protein were isolated from conjunctival epithelial cells collected via impression cytology. Expression of membrane-bound and soluble MUC1 and MUC16 were quantified with western blotting, and expression of MUC1 and MUC16 mRNA was assessed with real-time PCR.Results: OSDI responses ranged from 0 to 60, and NITBUT ranged from 18.5 to 2.9 s. Only two statistically significant correlations were found: soluble MUC16 protein concentration and MUC16 mRNA expression with OSDI vision related (−0.47; p=0.01) and ocular symptom (0.39; p=0.02) subscores, respectively. Post hoc exploratory analysis on absolute expression values was performed on two subsets of subjects defined as asymptomatic (OSDI ≤6, n=12) and moderate to severe symptomatic (OSDI ≥20, n=12). The only significant difference between the two subgroups was a significant reduction in MUC16 mRNA expression found in the symptomatic dry eye group (1.52±1.19 versus 0.57±0.44; p=0.03).Conclusions: A broad exploration of mucin expression compared to either a sign (NITBUT) or symptoms of dry eye failed to reveal compelling evidence supporting a significant relationship, other than a potential association between MUC16 with specific symptoms. Furthermore, comparison of mucin protein and expression levels between the asymptomatic and moderate to severe symptomatic subgroups revealed only one significant difference, a reduction in MUC16 mRNA expression in the symptomatic subgroup.
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Sruthi Srinivasan, Miriam L. Heynen, Elizabeth Martell, Robert Ritter, Lyndon W. Jones, Michelle Senchyna (2013). Quantification of MUCIN 1, cell surface associated and MUCIN16, cell surface associated proteins in tears and conjunctival epithelial cells collected from postmenopausal women. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/11453
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