Event Title

Can Thyroid Hormone Regenerate Damaged Nerves Following Corneal Injury?

Faculty Advisor

Tyler Schwend

Graduation Year

2020

Location

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

21-4-2018 2:00 PM

End Date

21-4-2018 3:00 PM

Description

The cornea is the most densely innervated tissue on the body’s surface. Corneal nerves, derived from the trigeminal ganglion, are crucial for perceiving stimulation from the external environment and maintaining hydration on the eye’s surface. Unfortunately, corneal nerves can be damaged following injury or corrective surgery (LASIK). Consequently, nerves are slow to regenerate, causing discomfort and risking further eye damage. Due to the immediate need to restore corneal nerves following injury we examine thyroxine (T4), the main hormone secreted by the thyroid gland, because we and others in the field have found T4 enhances the rate of nerve growth into the cornea (innervation) during development. Herein, we examine whether both cell types (trigeminal neurons and corneal cells), or one type exclusively, is capable of responding to T4 by studying gene expression for T4 receptors in these cells. Further, we are testing whether trigeminal neurons can directly respond to T4 when isolated from the embryo and cultured in vitro, which would provide functional evidence that they are capable of responding to T4.

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Apr 21st, 2:00 PM Apr 21st, 3:00 PM

Can Thyroid Hormone Regenerate Damaged Nerves Following Corneal Injury?

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

The cornea is the most densely innervated tissue on the body’s surface. Corneal nerves, derived from the trigeminal ganglion, are crucial for perceiving stimulation from the external environment and maintaining hydration on the eye’s surface. Unfortunately, corneal nerves can be damaged following injury or corrective surgery (LASIK). Consequently, nerves are slow to regenerate, causing discomfort and risking further eye damage. Due to the immediate need to restore corneal nerves following injury we examine thyroxine (T4), the main hormone secreted by the thyroid gland, because we and others in the field have found T4 enhances the rate of nerve growth into the cornea (innervation) during development. Herein, we examine whether both cell types (trigeminal neurons and corneal cells), or one type exclusively, is capable of responding to T4 by studying gene expression for T4 receptors in these cells. Further, we are testing whether trigeminal neurons can directly respond to T4 when isolated from the embryo and cultured in vitro, which would provide functional evidence that they are capable of responding to T4.