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20 June 2019 : Animal Research  

Effects of Vitamin A on Expressions of Apoptosis Genes Bax and Bcl-2 in Epithelial Cells of Corneal Tissues Induced by Benzalkonium Chloride in Mice with Dry Eye

Weihua Zhang1ACEF, Weijing Li1AE, Cuiying Zhang1BF, Chunfang Zhu1CD, Xiangling Yi1BE, Yan Zhou1AD, Yan Lv1BDFG*

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.913478

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:4583-4589


BACKGROUND: The apoptosis of corneal epithelial cells participates in the pathological processes of dry eye, which is expected to be a treatment target for dry eye. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of vitamin A (VA) on apoptosis of corneal epithelial cells in a mouse model with dry eye induced by benzalkonium chloride (BAC).

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We randomly divided 60 male BALB/c mice aged 8–10 weeks into 3 groups: the blank control group, the dry eye + vehicle group, and the dry eye + drug group. On the 7th day after the dry eye model successfully induced, the mouse eyeballs removed, and the mouse corneal tissues were isolated. The expression levels of Bax and Bcl-2 in corneal tissues were detected via reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blotting. The apoptotic corneal epithelial cells were quantified using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) deoxyuridine triphosphate (dUTP) nick-end labeling (TUNEL) staining technique.

RESULTS: VA suppressed the upregulation of the Bax gene at the mRNA and protein levels, and upregulated the expression of the Bcl-2 gene (P<0.05). TUNEL results revealed that the number of apoptotic epithelial cells in the dry eye group was 40 times larger as that in the blank control group. After the intervention of VA at an appropriate concentration, the number of apoptotic corneal epithelial cells was remarkably reduced to about 10 times that in the blank control group (P<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: VA can inhibit upregulation of the expressions of Bax and Bcl-2 in the epithelial cells of mice with dry eye induced by BAC, so as to suppress the apoptosis of epithelial cells in mice with dry eye.

Keywords: Vitamin A, Benzalkonium Compounds, Cornea, Dry Eye Syndromes, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2, bcl-2-Associated X Protein

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750