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Mol Vis. 2023 Dec 26;29:357-364. eCollection 2023.


PURPOSE: To investigate systemic and ocular toll-like receptor (TLR)-4 expression and its association with oxidative stress markers in ocular rosacea (OR).

METHODS: This prospective study included 40 patients with rosacea with ocular involvement and 20 healthy volunteers. Tear break-up time (TBUT), Schirmer test, meibomoscore, and ocular surface disease index (OSDI) scores were estimated for all participants. TLR-4 expression in conjunctival epithelium and peripheral blood mononuclear cells was quantified using real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). In the tears and serum samples of all participants, antioxidant status (TAS), total oxidant status (TOS), and arylesterase (ARE) activation levels were measured using a fully automated spectrophotometric method, and the oxidative stress index (OSI) was calculated.

RESULTS: TLR-4 expression levels and oxidative stress status (TOS and OSI values) were significantly higher (p < 0.01), and antioxidant status (TAS and ARE values) were significantly lower (p < 0.01) in both ocular and blood samples of patients with OR compared with those in controls. A significant positive correlation was found between the ocular and blood values in all parameters (p < 0.05). According to the clinical associations of these results, we found negative correlations between TLR-4, OSI, and TBUT and between TLR-4 and Schirmer, whereas a positive correlation was observed between TLR-4, OSI, and meiboscore and between TLR-4, OSI, and OSDI (p < 0.05). No correlation was found between the OSI and Schirmer results (p = 0.92).

CONCLUSIONS: TLR-4 and oxidative stress both play important roles in OR pathophysiology and are closely related to clinical findings.

PMID:38577560 | PMC:PMC10994681

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