Profiles of matrix metalloproteinase activity in equine tear fluid during corneal healing in 10 horses with ulcerative keratitis

F. J. Ollivier, D. E. Brooks, G. B. Van Setten, G. S. Schultz, K. N. Gelatt, G. R. Stevens, T. D. Blalock, S. E. Andrew, A. M. Komaromy, Mary Utter, M. E. Kallberg, T. J. Cutler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Levels of tear film matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) activity are significantly elevated in horses with ulcerative keratitis and contribute to the excessive breakdown of stromal collagen. Changes in the amount of proteolytic activity in horse tear film during corneal healing and stromal remodeling have not yet been reported, but we hypothesize they should decrease. In the present study we analyzed serial tear fluid from horses with ulcerative keratitis to identify any changes in MMP activity during corneal healing and stromal remodeling. Procedures: Samples of tear fluid were obtained from both eyes of 10 horses with ulcerative keratitis on the day of admission (day 1) at the hospital and then at various time points until complete healing of the cornea. Tear film MMP2 and MMP9 activity was determined by quantitative gelatin zymography. In all cases medical treatment included topical applications of equine serum, antibiotics, atropine and systemic administration of anti-inflammatory drugs. Surgical procedures were performed in several cases on day 2 in addition to the medical treatment. Results: The mean total MMP activity (± SD) measured in relative standard units (RSU) in the tear fluid of the ulcerated eye (2.44 ± 1.44) of the 10 horses was significantly higher than the mean in the contralateral eye (0.81 ± 0.68) (P = 0.006), on the day of admission at the VMTH. The mean MMP activity in these ulcerated eyes significantly decreased (-82.4%) between the first day of admission and the day when the ulcer had completely healed (P = 0.0002). The activity level in the healed eye (0.43 ± 0.17) was not significantly different to the one in the contralateral eye (0.36 ± 0.18) on the day of complete corneal healing (P = 0.374). The level of MMP activity in the contralateral eye also decreased from 0.81 ± 0.68-0.36 ± 0.18 but this decrease (56%) was not significant (P = 0.069). Conclusions: Ulcerative keratitis in horses is associated with initially high levels of tear film proteolytic activity that decrease as the ulcers heal. The success of medical and surgical treatment of the corneal ulcers is reflected by the enzyme activity in tears. In horses successful treatment does lead to a rapid reduction in tear film proteolytic activity that corresponded with the improvement in the clinical signs of corneal ulceration. Measurement of MMP activity in the tear film might represent a way to monitor the progression of corneal healing in horses with ulcerative keratitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-405
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Ophthalmology
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 8 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Corneal healing
  • Corneal ulceration
  • Horse
  • Matrix metalloproteinase
  • Tear fluid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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    Ollivier, F. J., Brooks, D. E., Van Setten, G. B., Schultz, G. S., Gelatt, K. N., Stevens, G. R., Blalock, T. D., Andrew, S. E., Komaromy, A. M., Utter, M., Kallberg, M. E., & Cutler, T. J. (2004). Profiles of matrix metalloproteinase activity in equine tear fluid during corneal healing in 10 horses with ulcerative keratitis. Veterinary Ophthalmology, 7(6), 397-405. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1463-5224.2004.04052.x