98th Annual Meeting DOG 2000

P 608

AlphaB-crystallin expression in human cornea under varying storage conditions

A. V. Fuchs, M. Grüterich, A. Kampik, U. Welge-Lüßen

Purpose: Human donor corneas are stored depending on the method of storage (organ culture/Optisol GS) between 4°C and 37°C. We investigated the expression of the small heat shock protein a B-crystallin at different storage conditions.

Methods: Thirty human donor corneas unsuitable for transplantation because of positive serology were stored at different temperatures (4°C, 31°C, 37°C) in different media for ten days. Induction of a B-crystallin and its mRNA was quantitated by Western and Northern blotting.

Results: a B-crystallin was expressed in all corneas at all temperatures investigated. Storage at 31°C in organ culture showed a 4-6 times higher a B-crystallin expression of protein and mRNA compared to storage at 37°C. Storage in Optisol GS at 4°C showed a similar a B-crystallin expression as storage in organ culture at 37°C.

Discussion: Our results show that storage of human donor corneas in organ culture at 31°C induces a higher expression of the small heat shock protein a B-crystallin than the other investigated temperatures and methods of storage. Previous studies with other cell systems showed a varying expression of stress proteins depending on the surrounding temperature. Therefore storage at 31°C could be interpreted as a greater stress condition for donor corneas than other methods of storage. There was no difference in a B-crystallin expression between organ culture at 37°C and Optisol GS at 4°C.

Department of Ophthalmology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Mathildenstr. 8, D-80336 Munich