miR-1273h-5p protects the human corneal epithelium against UVR-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis: Role of miR-1273h-5p in climatic droplet keratopathy

Exp Eye Res. 2023 Jun 17:109536. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2023.109536. Online ahead of print.


Climatic droplet keratopathy (CDK) is characterized by an increased number of oil-like deposits on the most anterior corneal layers, which affect vision and can cause blindness. Environmental ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is a major risk factor, but the underlying mechanism of CDK pathogenesis is unclear. Increasing evidence has demonstrated that miRNAs participate in the cross-talk with oxidative stress. We aimed to explore whether certain miRNAs are involved in the pathogenesis of CDK. We performed miRNA sequencing of tears from patients with CDK and healthy individuals from Tacheng region of Xinjiang and conducted bioinformatic analysis of key miRNAs. We also evaluated viability, migration, and apoptosis of human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs) subjected to UVR treatment. miR-1273h-5p expression was abnormally downregulated in the tears of patients with CDK. miR-1273h-5p promoted cell proliferation and migration and inhibited UVR-induced mitochondrial apoptosis. miR-1273h-5p protected HCECs against UVR-induced oxidative damage by reducing the accumulation of reactive oxygen species and inhibiting mitochondrial apoptosis via the activation of the Nrf2 pathway. Thus, our results suggest that miR-1273h-5p protects the corneal epithelium against UVR-induced oxidative stress damage.

PMID:37336468 | DOI:10.1016/j.exer.2023.109536