Molecular and epidemiological studies on eyes with pseudoexfoliation syndrome
Abstract: Pseudoexfoliation (PEX) syndrome is an age-related condition characterized by the production and accumulation of extracellular fibrillary material in the anterior segment of the eye. PEX predisposes for several pathological conditions, such as glaucoma and complications during and after cataract surgery. The pathogenesis of PEX is not yet fully understood. It is multifactorial with genetics and ageing as contributing factors. We aimed to study the proteome in aqueous humor (AH) in PEX in order to increase the knowledge about its pathophysiology. Therefore, we developed sampling techniques and evaluated separation methods necessary for analyzing small sample volumes. Other objectives were to study the lens capsule in eyes with PEX regarding small molecules, and to investigate the association between PEX and cataract surgery in a population-based 30-year follow-up study.Samples of AH from eyes with PEX and control eyes were collected during cataract surgery. In pooled, and individual samples, various liquid based separation techniques and high resolution mass spectrometry were utilized. For quantitation, various methods for labeling, and label free techniques were applied. Lens capsules were collected from some of the patients, and analysed by imaging mass spectrometry. A cohort of 1,471 elderly individuals underwent a comprehensive ophthalmological examination at baseline. Medical information was obtained by questionnaires, and from medical records. Incident cases of cataract surgery were identified by review of medical records. In the initial study, several techniques were explored for protein detection, and a number of proteins were identified as differentially expressed. In the individually labelled samples, changes in the proteome were observed. Eyes with PEX contained higher levels of proteins involved in inflammation, oxidative stress, and coagulation, suggesting that these mechanisms are involved in the pathogenesis in PEX. The levels of ?/?-crystallins were significantly increased in PEX, which is a novel finding. In the lens capsules from individuals with PEX, changes in the lipid composition was observed with time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry. These changes remain to be elucidated. By multivariate analysis, lens opacities were the first, and PEX the second most important predictor for cataract surgery, the later accounting for a 2.38-fold increased risk for cataract surgery.
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