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    To investigate the expression of corneal epithelium-derived netrin-1 (NTN-1) and its immunoregulatory function in dry eye disease (DED) using a DED mouse model. We generated DED mouse models with desiccating stress under scopolamine treatment. RNA sequencing was performed to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in the corneal epithelium of DED mice. NTN-1 expression was analyzed via real-time PCR, immunofluorescence staining, and immunoblotting. The DED mice were then treated with recombinant NTN-1 or neutralizing antibodies to investigate the severity of the disease, dendritic cell (DC) activation, and inflammatory cytokine expression. A total of 347 DEGs (292 upregulated and 55 downregulated) were identified in the corneal epithelium of DED mice: corneal epithelium-derived NTN-1 expression was significantly decreased in DED mice compared to that in control mice. Topical recombinant NTN-1 application alleviated the severity of the disease, accompanied by restoration of tear secretion and goblet cell density. In addition, NTN-1 decreased the number of DCs, inhibited the activation of the DCs and Th17 cells, and reduced the expression of inflammatory factors in DED mice. In contrast, blocking endogenous NTN-1 activity with an anti-NTN-1 antibody aggravated the disease, enhanced DC activation, and upregulated the inflammatory factors in the conjunctivae of DED mice. We identified decreased NTN-1 expression in the corneal epithelium of DED mice. Our findings elucidate the role of NTN-1 in alleviating DED and impeding DC activation, thereby indicating its therapeutic potential in suppressing ocular inflammation in DED.


    Chaoqun Yu, Peng Chen, Jing Xu, Susu Wei, Qilong Cao, Chuanlong Guo, Xianggen Wu, Guohu Di. Corneal Epithelium-Derived Netrin-1 Alleviates Dry Eye Disease via Regulating Dendritic Cell Activation. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. 2022 Jun 01;63(6):1

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    PMID: 35648640

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