The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: TFF3

Trefoil Factor Family Peptide 3 at the Ocular Surface. A Promising Therapeutic Candidate for Patients with Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dev Ophthalmol. 2010;45:1-11. Epub 2010 May 18.
Schulze U, Sel S, Paulsen FP.
Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle/Saale, Germany.

Dry eye syndrome is a widespread disease accompanied by discomfort and potential visual impairments. Basic causes are tear film instability, hyperosmolarity of the tear film, increased apoptosis as well as chronic inflammatory processes. During the last decades, our understanding of dry eye syndrome has considerably increased. However, the molecular mechanisms of the disease remain largely elusive. In this context, our group focuses on trefoil factor 3 (TFF3). Among other factors, TFF3 performs a broad variety of protective functions on surface epithelium. Its main function seems to be in enhancing wound healing by promoting a process called 'restitution'. Studies evaluating TFF3 properties and effects at the ocular surface using in vivo as well as in vitro models have revealed a pivotal role of TFF3 in corneal wound healing. Subsequent studies in osteoarthritic cartilage seem to draw a different picture of TFF3, which still needs further elucidation. This manuscript summarizes the findings concerning TFF3 in general and its role in the cornea as well as articular cartilage - two tissues which have some things in common. It also discusses the potential of TFF3 as a candidate therapeutic agent for the treatment of, for example, ocular surface disorder