Correlations of telomere length changing and pathogeny of keratoconus

Jiao Jiao Wang, Shao Wei Li*, Yi Qiang Wang, Ye Wang, Wen Xian Zhong, Xin Jie Zang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective To study telomere length, enescence-associated-beta-galactosidase ( SA- beta-galactosidase) and senescence marker protein-30 (SMP-30) in the stromal cells of keratoconus or normal corneas respectively, aiming finding the association of these indexes with the phenotype of keratoconus. Methods Experiment research. 37 keratoconus lesions corneas were removed from 32 keratoconus patients who were operated in Shangdong Eye Institute between January 2006 and December 2006, and 20 normal corneas were collected from eye bank. The keratoconus corneas ages were from 13 to 34 years [ mean ages ( 19 ±5) years] and the control group consists of 20 normal corneas donor ages from 9 to 30 years [mean ages ( 19 ±4) years]. And there was no statistical difference of ages between keratoconus and normal corneas. Southern blot method was utilized to detect telomere length of genomic DNA. SA-beta- galactosidase was detected by 5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl-p-D-galactopyranoside (X-Gal) staining method respectively in keratoconus and normal corneas. Isolated mRNA from keratoconus and normal corneas were reverse-transcribed to cDNA and SMP-30 was detected using PCR with specific primers (sense; 5' ccg tgg atg cct ttg act at 3'; anti-sense: 5' caa ctt cat gc tgct ttg ga 3') . To compare normal corneas and keratoconus corneas by histopathological study. Statistical analysis by t test. Results The telomere length in stromal cells in keratoconus corneas were from 10.29 to 14. 12 kb, mean (11.54 ± 1.41) kb, while that of normal corneas were from 12.64 to 15.32 kb, mean (13.45 ± 0.99) kb. The difference of telomere length in stromal cells of keratoconus and normal corneas reached a statistical significant level(t =4.753, P >0.05). That means the telomere length of keratoconus stroma was shorter than that of normal corneal stroma. Light microscopy revealed that collagen fibers in keratoconus corneal stroma were aranged in an irregular manner. Cells density in keratoconus stroma appeared lower than in normal ones but the decrease was not significant. The staining of SA-beta-galactosidase in the keratoconus section was evident, but there was no staining in the normal corneas. SMP-30 was not detectable with RT-PCR method in either keratoconus or normal comeas. Conclusion Telomeres in the keratoconus stromas manifest higher SA-beta-galactosidase than control, implying that improper senescence might be involved in pathogenesis of keratoconus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)724-729
Number of pages6
Journal[Zhonghua yan ke za zhi] Chinese journal of ophthalmology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Calcium-binding proteins
  • Intracellular signaling peptides and proteins
  • Keratoconus
  • Telomere


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