You could be reading the full-text of this article now if you...

If you have access to this article through your institution,
you can view this article in

Moesin Expression in Fibrosis in the Mouse Cornea After Sterile Mechanical Trauma or Infection

Zhu, Hong-Y. MD, PhD*; Ng, Jennifer BSc*; Salleh, Shuhaida M. BSc*; Aung, Thet T. MBBS, MSc*; Htoon, Myint H. BDS, PhD*; Beuerman, Roger W. PhD*,†

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000000179
Basic Investigation

Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare the expression patterns of 3 important biochemical characteristics of fibrosis–moesin, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, and α-smooth muscle actin (SMA) in the mouse cornea with fibrosis induced by common etiologies—sterile mechanical injury and infection.

Methods: Corneas of 8-week-old C57BL6 mice were either wounded after an anterior keratectomy or were infected by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and the animals were killed on days 2 and 7, and on weeks 2 and 4 after the procedure. Western blot and immunofluorescence were used to analyze the expression of moesin and phospho-moesin, and the presence of myofibroblasts identified by the expression of α-SMA in the corneal stroma. The expression of TGF-β1 was analyzed by immunofluorescence.

Results: By immunofluorescent analysis, TGF-β1, α-SMA, and phospho-moesin were not detected in the normal corneal stroma. However, after either treatment, TGF-β1 expression increased, along with phospho-moesin in the wounded corneal stroma until day 7, and decreased after week 2. No expression of TGF-β1 and phospho-moesin was found at postoperative week 4. Moesin expression increased until week 2. Myofibroblasts positive for α-SMA were detected on day 2 until week 4 and peaked at week 2. Western blot analysis confirmed the immunofluorescent data for moesin, phospho-moesin, and α-SMA.

Conclusions: The similar expression pattern of moesin, phospho-moesin, TGF-β1, and α-SMA in the mouse cornea with fibrosis caused by sterile mechanical injury or infection indicated a role for moesin signaling in corneal fibrosis. Interference with the action of moesin may be a potential approach for intervention strategies to avert fibrosis after infection or mechanical injury.

Author Information

*Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore, Singapore; and

SRP Neuroscience and Behavioral Disorders, Duke-NUS, Singapore, Singapore.

Reprints: Roger W. Beuerman, PhD, Singapore Eye Research Institute, 11 Third Hospital Ave, Singapore 168751, Singapore (e-mail:

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Supported by a Singapore National Medical Research Council Center Grant, Singapore Eye Research Institute Pilot grant R934/43/2012.

Received January 17, 2014

Accepted May 06, 2014

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.