SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, vol.8, 2018 (SCI-Expanded)
The study aimed to characterize the expression and function of SFTA3 at the ocular surface and in tears. Ocular tissues, conjunctival (HCjE) and human corneal (HCE) epithelial cell lines as well as tearfilm of patients suffering from different forms of dry eye disease (DED) were analyzed by means of RT-PCR, western blot, immunohistochemistry, and ELISA. A possible role of recombinant SFTA3 in corneal wound healing was investigated performing in vitro scratch assays. Tear film regulatory properties were analyzed with the spinning drop method and the regulation of SFTA3 transcripts was studied in HCE and HCjE after incubation with proinflammatory cytokines as well as typical ocular pathogens by real-time RT-PCR and ELISA. The results reveal that human ocular tissue as well as tears of healthy volunteers express SFTA3 whereas tears from patients with DED showed significantly increased SFTA3 levels. In vitro wounding of HCE cell cultures that had been treated with recombinant SFTA3 demonstrated a significantly increased wound closure rate and rSFTA3 reduced the surface tension of tear fluid. The results indicate that SFTA3 at the ocular surface seemed to be involved in wound healing and the reduction of surface tension.