The Differential Expression of Cytokines and Growth Factors After SMILE Compared With FS-LASIK in Rabbits.

Published on May 11, 2020in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science3.47
· DOI :10.1167/IOVS.61.5.55
Lingjia Liu2
Estimated H-index: 2
(NKU: Nankai University),
Wenbo Cheng2
Estimated H-index: 2
(First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University)
+ 14 AuthorsYan Wang16
Estimated H-index: 16
(Tianjin Medical University)
Purpose To investigate the differential expression of cytokines and growth factors in the cornea and aqueous humor after small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) compared with femtosecond LASIK (FS-LASIK) using rabbit model. Methods Sixteen eyes of 16 rabbits in each group underwent SMILE or FS-LASIK with refractive correction of -6.00 DS/-1.00 DC. Eight additional rabbits served as controls. Pre- and 24 hours, 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months postoperatively, slit-lamp and anterior segment optical coherence tomography were performed, followed by cornea and aqueous humor collection. Apoptosis and proliferation were evaluated with TUNEL assay and Ki-67 immunostaining, respectively. The mRNA and protein expression of cytokines and growth factors was determined by RT-qPCR and Western blotting, respectively. Cytokine levels in the aqueous humor were detected with ELISA. Results Compared with FS-LASIK, SMILE induced less apoptosis and proliferation in the cornea within 1 week postoperatively. Levels of IL-1β, TNF-α, and EGFR in the cornea were significantly increased after FS-LASIK compared with SMILE within 24 hours. Levels of IL-8 in the aqueous humor remained elevated until 1 week after FS-LASIK but not SMILE. TGF-β1 level was elevated up to 1 month after both procedures, while BFGF level was kept high within 1 month after SMILE but not FS-LASIK. Conclusions SMILE could induce significantly less acute inflammation than FS-LASIK in the cornea and aqueous humor. The differential expression of TGF-β1 and BFGF between two procedures until 1 month might contribute to the post-SMILE delayed recovery and underline the importance of continued treatment postoperatively.
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