Histochemical changes in the rabbit cornea and plasmin activity in the tear fluid during contact lens wear. Favourable influence of protease inhibitors (aprotinin, PC5, elastatinal).

PMID 1377662


Plasmin activity in the tear fluid of the rabbit eye was examined during the wearing of soft contact lenses (SCL) and compared with the occurrence of corneal disturbances assessed in cryostat sections. Plasmin activity was determined with a semiquantitative method using dry punches of filter paper previously soaked in 0.1 M Tris-HCl buffer solution containing mmol/l D-Val-Leu-Lys-FCA (trifluoromethylaminocoumarine), pH 7.2. Punches were applied to the corneal surface for 5 s (tear collection) and incubated in wet chamber. The time of appearance of the bright yellow fluorescence in UV light was recorded and taken as a measure of plasmin activity. For calibration punches soaked in solutions containing plasmin in various concentrations, and processed in the same manner were used. Changes in the cornea were examined histochemically using methods of choice for acid glycosidases, proteases, dehydrogenases, and Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase. SCL with high and low water content were worn in rabbits in 1, 2, 4, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days. Decreased activity of Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase, GGT, and SDH in the corneal endothelium and epithelium were not accompanied by detectable plasmin activity in the tear fluid. Pronounced damage of the corneal epithelium (increased activities of acid glycosidases, acid proteases, LDH, markedly decreased activity of SDH) was accompanied by low concentration of plasmin (0.4-1.0 micrograms/ml) in the tear fluid. Middle activity of plasmin (1.0-2.0 micrograms/ml) was detectable when PMNs were present in the corneal stroma. High plasmin activity (2.0-3.0 micrograms/ml) correlated with corneal ulceration and vascularization.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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Elastatinal, microbial