Kusaka, Shunji Kindai University
Shimomura, Yoshikazu Kindai University
Recently, in vivo confocal microscopy is used to examine the human corneal nerve fibers morphology. Corneal nerve fiber architecture and its role are studied in healthy and pathological conditions. Corneal nerves of rats were studied by nonspecific acetylcholinesterase (NsAchE) staining. NsAchE-positive subepithelial (stromal) nerve fiber has been found to be insensitive to capsaicin. Besides, NsAchE-negative but capsaicin-sensitive subbasal nerve (leash) fibers formed thick mesh-like structure showing close interconnections and exhibit both isolectin B4- and transient receptor potential vanilloid channel 1- (TRPV1-) positive. TRPV1, TRPV3, TRPA (ankyrin) 1, and TRPM (melastatin) 8 are expressed in corneal nerve fibers. Besides the corneal nerve fibers, the expressions of TRPV (1, 3, and 4), TRPC (canonical) 4, and TRPM8 are demonstrated in the corneal epithelial cell membrane. The realization of the importance of TRP channels acting as polymodal sensors of environmental stresses has identified potential drug targets for corneal disease. The pathophysiological conditions of corneal diseases are associated with disruption of normal tissue innervation, especially capsaicin-sensitive small sensory nerve fibers. The relationships between subbasal corneal nerve fiber morphology and neurotrophic keratopathy in corneal diseases are well studied. The recommended treatment for neurotrophic keratopathy is administration of preservative free eye drops.
BioMed Research International
Copyright © 2017 Hiroshi Eguchi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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