Purpose: Chronic exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light is a widely accepted aetiological factor in the development of pterygium. UV radiation may induce production of reactive oxygen species via photosensitized oxidation, thus causing oxidative damage. This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that oxidative damage to DNA is increased in pterygium. Methods: Immunohistochemical analysis employing a monoclonal antibody specific for 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), a ubiquitous maker of oxidative stress, was performed in three patients with primary pterygium. The levels of 8-OHdG in DNA isolated from the other 29 pterygium specimens and their adjacent normal conjunctival tissues were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: Immunohistochemistry of 8-OHdG showed a distinct pattern of more extensive and intense staining in the nuclei of pterygium tissue compared with that in their adjacent normal conjunctiva. ELISA also revealed that the average level of 8-OHdG in the pterygium tissues was 4.7-fold higher than that of the corresponding normal conjunctiva (P<0.001). Conclusions: The increased levels of 8-OHdG in the pterygium tissues indicate that oxidative stress could play a role in the development of pterygium. These findings provide new information to better understand the pathogenesis of pterygium and are useful in the prevention and treatment of this disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems