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Trefoil factor family mRNA and protein expression in pterygium

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Bruce Westley, Dr Felicity May


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Trefoil factor family (TFF) of proteins are involved in mucosal protection and heating and are induced in inflammatory diseases and neoplastic progression. The purpose of this investigation was to determine if expression of the trefoil factor family (TFF) proteins is altered in human pterygium compared to in normal conjunctiva. Fourteen pterygia (P) and 21 biopsies from normal human conjunctiva (NC) were studied. TFF1, TFF2 and TFF3 mRNA levels were measured by semi-quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and TFF1 mRNA levels in addition by real-time PCR. The cellular expression of TFF1 (pS2), TFF3 (intestinal trefoil factor) and M1/ MUC5AC mucin in ten pterygia and ten normal human conjunctiva specimens was analyzed by immunohistochemistry using specific monoclonal antibodies. TFF1 mRNA levels were higher in P than in NC (p=0.02). Accordingly, intensity of TFF1 and mucin MUC5AC immunostaining was higher in P than in NC. Mucus-secreting goblet cells (GC) were more densely packed in P than in NC. In both cases, TFF1 protein was detected in GC only, but was not systematically expressed in all GC. In addition, TFF3 mRNA levels were similar (p=0.89) in NC and P, while TFF2 (spasmolytic polypeptide) mRNA were not detected. Both TFF3 and MUC5AC proteins were clearly detected in all GC identified in NC and P. Increased expression of TFF1 mRNA and protein is observed in pterygium GC, suggesting that this trefoil protein might exert protective and beneficial roles during the pathogenesis of this benign and inflammatory conjunctival tumor.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lafontaine PO, Arnal M, Buron N, Solary E, Bron AM, Westley BR, May FEB, Bara J, Gespach C, Creuzot-Garcher C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Oncology

Year: 2005

Volume: 27

Issue: 4

Pages: 997-1003

ISSN (print): 1019-6439

ISSN (electronic): 1791-2423