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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 9672082, 10 pages
Research Article

Quiescent and Active Tear Protein Profiles to Predict Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis Reactivation

1IRCCS-G.B. Bietti Foundation, 00100 Rome, Italy
2Department of Ophthalmology, Campus Bio-Medico University, 00128 Rome, Italy
3UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London EC1V 9EL, UK

Received 16 November 2015; Accepted 17 January 2016

Academic Editor: Sung-Hoon Kim

Copyright © 2016 Alessandra Micera 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.


Objective. Vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) is a chronic recurrent bilateral inflammation of the conjunctiva associated with atopy. Several inflammatory and tissue remodeling factors contribute to VKC disease. The aim is to provide a chip-based protein analysis in tears from patients suffering from quiescent or active VKC. Methods. This study cohort included 16 consecutive patients with VKC and 10 controls. Participants were subjected to clinical assessment of ocular surface and tear sampling. Total protein quantification, total protein sketch, and protein array (sixty protein candidates) were evaluated. Results. An overall increased Fluorescent Intensity expression was observed in VKC arrays. Particularly, IL1β, IL15, IL21, Eotaxin2, TACE, MIP1α, MIP3α, NCAM1, ICAM2, βNGF, NT4, BDNF, βFGF, SCF, MMP1, and MMP2 were increased in quiescent VKC. Of those candidates, only IL1β, IL15, IL21, βNGF, SCF, MMP2, Eotaxin2, TACE, MIP1α, MIP3α, NCAM1, and ICAM2 were increased in both active and quiescent VKC. Finally, NT4, βFGF, and MMP1 were highly increased in active VKC. Conclusion. A distinct “protein tear-print” characterizes VKC activity, confirming some previously reported factors and highlighting some new candidates common to quiescent and active states. Those candidates expressed in quiescent VKC might be considered as predictive indicators of VKC reactivation and/or exacerbation out-of-season.