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Objective—To evaluate the changes in concentrations of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 in the precorneal tear film of dogs with Pseudomonas aeruginosa–associated keratitis during corneal healing and stromal remodeling.
Animals—10 dogs with unilateral P aeruginosa–associated keratitis and 10 clinically normal dogs.
Procedures—Precorneal tear film samples were collected from both eyes of 10 dogs with unilateral P aeruginosa–associated keratitis on the day of admission to the hospital and then at various time points until complete healing of the cornea was achieved. Precorneal tear film samples were also collected from both eyes of 10 clinically normal adult dogs (control group). Concentrations of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in precorneal tear film samples from each group were determined via gelatin zymography for comparison.
Results—The proteolytic processes in the ulcerated eyes decreased as corneal healing progressed. On the day of admission, concentrations of latent and active forms of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in ulcerated eyes were significantly higher than values in the contralateral unaffected eyes in dogs with P aeruginosa–associated keratitis; concentrations of latent MMP-2 and MMP-9 were also greater than control group values. Concentrations of latent and active forms of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in the healed eyes of dogs with P aeruginosa–associated keratitis were significantly lower than concentrations in the ulcerated eyes on the day of admission.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that reduction of precorneal tear film concentrations of MMPs by use of proteinase inhibitors may be effective in the treatment of dogs with P aeruginosa–associated keratitis.