Growth factor expression in ophthalmic pterygia and normal conjunctiva
Spandidos, Demetrios A.
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The expression of growth factors in ophthalmic pterygium and phenotypically normal conjunctiva was examined and correlated with the clinical findings. Fifteen specimens of ophthalmic pterygia and 8 specimens of phenotypically normal conjunctiva were examined. Total RNA was extracted from all specimens and mRNA levels for transforming growth factor (TGFB1), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGFA), basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF2), epidermal growth factor (EGF) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF1) were measured using real-time reverse-transcription PCR (qRT-PCR). Differences in the expression of these factors between pterygium and conjunctival specimens were examined, as well as correlations between RNA levels and clinical parameters. mRNA levels for VEGFA and FGF2 were significantly higher in pterygium, compared with conjunctival specimens, whereas the respective differences for other factors examined were statistically not significant. The mRNA levels for VEGFA and FGF2 were also significantly higher in recurrent compared with primary pterygium. Correlations between the mRNA levels and other clinical parameters were statistically not significant for the growth factors examined. The higher levels of FGF2 or VEGFA mRNA in pterygium imply that these factors may be involved in the pathogenesis or clinical behavior of the pterygium, including postoperative recurrence. VEGFA expression may have potential for use in the selective treatment of pterygium with anti-VEGFA agents.