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Novel intracellular pathways in keratoconus and their translational therapeutic potential

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Session Details

Session Title: Corneal Biomechanics

Session Date/Time: Monday 09/10/2017 | 08:00-10:30

Paper Time: 08:25

Venue: Room 2.1

First Author: : P.Khamar INDIA

Co Author(s): :    R. Shetty   A. Ghosh   N. Jeyabalan              

Abstract Details


Oxidative stress is one of the key factors that contribute to the pathogenesis of keratoconus. Macro autophagy(Autophagy) is a vital cellular mechanism, activated in response to oxidative stress. Aim of this study is to understand the role of autophagic lysosomal pathway with respect to oxidative stress in epithelium of keratoconus corneas and to know the role of Chloroquine eye drops in modulation of Autophagy caused by oxidative stress.




Corneal epithelium from keratoconus patients (n= 60) undergoing corneal cross-linking and corneal epithelium from control subjects (n=18) with normal corneal topography undergoing photorefractive keratectomy for correction of refractive errors were collected. We performed microarray, qPCR, Western blot analysis, from different clinical grades of keratoconus patients’ corneal epithelium for the expression of autophagy markers. Chloroquine eye drops were instilled on Keratoconus epithelium to check for modulation of autophagy related markers.


An increased expression pattern of autophagy related markers (LC3-II and LAMP I proteins) was observed in the diseased corneal cone specific epithelium compared to matched peripheral epithelium from keratoconus with increasing clinical severity. Keratoconus epithelium treated with chloroquine eye drops showed optimal autophagy.


Due to oxidative stress, there is altered expression of autophagy proteins suggestive of defective autophagy, which is involved in the pathogenesis of keratoconus. Modulation of autophagy can be mediated by chloroquine eye drops. Chloroquine eye drops may be used as an effective modulator to halt the progression of keratoconus.

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