Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) represents a therapeutic option to remodel corneal stroma and to compensate refractive errors, which involves inflammatory and/or regenerative processes. In this context, the modulation of cytokines/chemokines in the conjunctival sac fluid and their role in the maintenance of the corneal microenvironment during the healing process upon refractive procedures has not been deeply investigated. In this study, serial samples of conjunctival sac fluid of patients (n = 25) undergoing PRK were harvested before and at different time points after surgery. The levels of 29 cytokines/chemokines/growth factors involved in inflammatory/immune processes were measured with a multiplex array system. The results have firstly highlighted the different pattern of cytokine expression between the microenvironment at the anterior surface of the eye and the systemic circulation. More importantly, the kinetic of modulation of cytokines/chemokines at the conjunctival level following PRK revealed that while the majority of cytokines/chemokines showed a significant decrease, MCP-1 emerged in light of its pronounced and significant increase soon after PRK and during the follow-up. This methodological approach has highlighted the role of MCP-1 in the healing process following PRK and has shown a potential for the identification of expression/modulation of soluble factors for biomarker profiling in ocular surface diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology