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Expression and Functions of Interleukin 11, a gp130 cytokine, in the Canine Eye

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Title: Expression and Functions of Interleukin 11, a gp130 cytokine, in the Canine Eye
Author: Richards, Tara
Department: Department of Biomedical Sciences
Program: Biomedical Sciences
Advisor: LaMarre, Jonathan
Abstract: Diseases of the eye are common problems in dogs and can be painful, therapeutically challenging and distressing to both patient and owner. Ocular disease can result in visual impairment, vision loss or, in severe cases, enucleation. Much of the tissue damage that occurs during ocular disease results from the activity of secreted proteins that control processes such as inflammation, blood vessel growth, cellular proliferation and cellular death. These proteins are called growth factors and cytokines. The purpose of this study was to examine the expression and effects of one such cytokine, interleukin 11, in the canine eye. Interleukin 11 was found to be constitutively expressed in all layers of the canine cornea at both the protein and message level. Treatment of primary corneal cell cultures with TGF-β1 resulted in a statistically significant increase in IL-11 expression in the corneal epithelium, fibroblasts and endothelium. In order to study the biological effects of IL-11 on the canine cornea, a presumptive corneal epithelial cell line (DCE39R) was created. Such a cell line represents an important, and previously unavailable, tool to study the effects of cytokines on the corneal epithelium itself as well as create corneal constructs for research and therapeutic work. Research done using this cell line demonstrated that IL-11 has a pro-migratory effect on the corneal epithelial cells and provides a cytoprotective effect in the case of nutrient deprivation. It however, does not induce proliferation of the canine corneal epithelial cells. This study serves as an important building block for future research on the effect of IL-11 in the canine cornea, and it also provides an important tool for future research: the cell line DCE39R.
Date: 2013-04
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