Purpose. To evaluate aqueous humor MMP-9 levels in alkali-burned rabbit cornea following KPr implantation and their roles in RPMs formation. Methods. Left eyes of 36 rabbits received a deep corneal alkali wound. 12 corneas were implanted with KPro and the other 24 control corneas were either penetrating keratoplasty or left without keratoplasty. Aqueous humor MMP-9 and TIMP-1 levels were determined and RPMs were obtained for histopathological and ultrastructural examination. Results. Alkali exposure induced significant increase in aqueous humor MMP-9 level and the data were further enhanced by KPro implantation. By contrast, TMIP-1 levels in aqueous humor showed a decreased trend following corneal alkali burn and KPro surgery. RPMs were developed in 5 out of 10 cases of KPro successfully implanted eyes. Histopathology showed the presence of a large number of fibroblasts and collagen fibers arranged irregularly with inflammatory cells infiltration, and an ingrowth of new blood vessels in this retrokeratoprosthesis fibrous tissue. Immunohistochemical analysis showed positive stain of RPMs for both MMP-9 and TIMP-1. Aqueous humor MMP-9 levels were significantly higher in RPM group postoperatively, while TIMP-1 levels were comparatively lower than that of No-RPM group. Conclusions. Our study evidenced the potential pathophysiological role of MMP-9 expression in RPM formation following KPro implantation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas