Tissue and molecular events in human conjunctival scarring in ocular cicatricial pemphigoid
Keywords: ocular cicatricial pemphigoid, conjunctiva, fibrosis, Collagen, transforming growth factor- β1, heat shock protein 47
AbstractDetailed histomorphometric analysis of human conjunctival biopsy specimens has convincingly demonstrated that tissue remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) is an essential and dynamic process associated with conjunctival scarring in ocular cicatricial pemphigoid (OCP). The conjunctival scarring often eventually results in impaired vision andlor blindness. The molecular mechanisms of conjunctival scarring are not completely understood. Accumulating evidence indicates that the early phase of conjunctival fibrosis is linked with an immuno-inflammatory process mediated by cytokines released by activated conjunctival cells and/or by infiltrating cells. Fibrogenic cytokines secreted by inflammatory cells and fibroblasts might actively be involved in remodeling of the matrix within the conjunctival stroma, possibly by regulating the altered metabolism of matrix proteins.