Expression of Lymphangiogenic Markers in Rejected Human Corneal Buttons after Penetrating Keratoplasty

Yuri Seo, Mee Kum Kim, Joon H. Lee, Eun Ju Chang, Eung Kweon Kim, Hyung Keun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To investigate the extent and distribution of lymphangiogenesis in the rejected corneal graft, we determined the expression of several lymphangiogenic markers in rejected human corneal buttons.Material and methods: Thirty-four corneal buttons were obtained from patients who underwent re-keratoplasty for graft rejection after penetrating keratoplasty. All corneas showed signs of rejection, such as, sudden mutton-fat keratic precipitates (KPs) or lines before re-keratoplasty. The corneas were halved, and one half was used for immunostaining and the other half was used for RT-PCR. Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A, VEGF-C, VEGF-D, VEGFR-2, VEGFR-3, LYVE-1 and podoplanin were measured as lymphangiogenic markers. Four non-operated normal corneas were used as controls.Results: Numerous podoplanin positive cells were found in the anterior and posterior stroma. However, LYVE-1 positive mature lymphatics were found only in herpetic keratitis (HK)-induced graft rejection, and not in pseudophakic bullous keratopathy (PBK). RT-PCR showed that levels of VEGF-A, VEGF-C, VEGFR-2, and VEGFR-3 mRNAs were elevated in rejected corneal buttons versus the non-operated control corneas. Based upon the pre-keratoplasty pathologic conditions, HK cases showed higher levels of VEGF-A and VEGFR-2 than PBK. The mRNA ratios (keratoplastic cornea/normal cornea) for VEGF-A and VEGFR-2 were 8.9 and 5.8, respectively.Conclusions: The results suggested that the VEGF-A and the VEGFR-2 may be a more important pathway for lymphangiogenesis in rejected corneal grafts than the VEGFR-3. In addition, organized lymphangiogenesis is more prominent in HK than PBK.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)902-912
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Eye Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Sept 2

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Expression of Lymphangiogenic Markers in Rejected Human Corneal Buttons after Penetrating Keratoplasty'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this