Comparison of Transcriptomic Analysis of the Conjunctiva in Glaucoma-Treated Eyes with Dry Eyes and Healthy Controls

Biomolecules. 2023 Dec 25;14(1):30. doi: 10.3390/biom14010030.


Ocular surface disease (OSD) associated with topical glaucoma drugs is a common issue impacting treatment adherence. We aimed to identify conjunctival transcriptomic changes in glaucoma and dry eye patients, comparing them to healthy controls. Bulbar conjunctival specimens were collected via impression cytology from 33 patients treated for glaucoma, 9 patients with dry eye, and 14 healthy controls. RNA extraction and bulk RNA sequencing were performed, followed by bioinformatics analysis to detect gene dysregulation. Ingenuity pathways analysis (IPA) identified pathways and biological processes associated with these transcriptomic changes. Sequencing analysis revealed 200 modified genes in glaucoma patients compared to healthy individuals, 233 differentially expressed genes in dry eye patients versus controls, and 650 genes in treated versus dry eye samples. In glaucoma patients, 79% of altered pathways were related to host defense, while dry eye patients showed a 39% involvement of host response, 15% in cellular proliferation and integrity, and 16% of mitochondrial dysfunction. These findings were validated through qRT-PCR. Glaucoma patients showed an intensified conjunctival immune response as a potential cause of OSD, whereas in dry eye patients, in addition to the immune response, other mechanisms such as mitochondrial dysfunction or reduced cellular proliferation were observed.

PMID:38254630 | DOI:10.3390/biom14010030