Event Title

Can Thyroid Hormone Enhance Corneal Nerve Regeneration Following Lasik?

Faculty Advisor

Tyler Schwend

Graduation Year

2018

Location

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

21-4-2018 9:00 AM

End Date

21-4-2018 10:00 AM

Description

The cornea, the outermost tissue of the eye, harbors the most nerves of any tissue on the body’s surface. These nerves are vital to maintaining eye health and vision. However, corneal nerves are often damaged after corrective eye surgeries, such as LASIK. Inexplicably, corneal nerves regenerate poorly following LASIK resulting in reduced corneal sensitivity and dry eye. Here we determine whether thyroid hormone may represent a therapy to enhance corneal nerve regeneration by studying its stimulatory effects on corneal nerve growth. We have found that thyroxine (T4), the main hormone secreted by the thyroid gland, can significantly enhance the rate of nerve growth and increase corneal nerve density when applied ectopically to developing chick embryos. We are currently studying whether T3, the metabolite of T4 and more active form of thyroid hormone, displays similar or disparate effects to T4 when applied to chick embryos.

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Apr 21st, 9:00 AM Apr 21st, 10:00 AM

Can Thyroid Hormone Enhance Corneal Nerve Regeneration Following Lasik?

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

The cornea, the outermost tissue of the eye, harbors the most nerves of any tissue on the body’s surface. These nerves are vital to maintaining eye health and vision. However, corneal nerves are often damaged after corrective eye surgeries, such as LASIK. Inexplicably, corneal nerves regenerate poorly following LASIK resulting in reduced corneal sensitivity and dry eye. Here we determine whether thyroid hormone may represent a therapy to enhance corneal nerve regeneration by studying its stimulatory effects on corneal nerve growth. We have found that thyroxine (T4), the main hormone secreted by the thyroid gland, can significantly enhance the rate of nerve growth and increase corneal nerve density when applied ectopically to developing chick embryos. We are currently studying whether T3, the metabolite of T4 and more active form of thyroid hormone, displays similar or disparate effects to T4 when applied to chick embryos.