The International Journal of Romanian Society of Endocrinology / Registered in 1938

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July - September 2021, Volume 17, Issue 3

Jiang L, Wei R, Diao J, Ding H, Wang W, Ao R

Proteomics of Tear in Inactive Thyroid-Associated Ophthalmopathy

Acta Endo (Buc) 2021, 17 (3): 291-303
doi: 10.4183/aeb.2021.291

Background. Thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy (TAO), one of the most common orbital diseases in adults, seriously reduces patients’ quality of life. Although human tear proteomics identified many abnormal expressed proteins and proposed several pathogeneses of TAO, most of these studies focused on the active stage or mixed types in TAO. In this study we identified significantly changed proteins and preliminary revealed the potential signalling pathways and mechanisms of TAO with the late, inactive stage. Patients and Methods. Tears from TAO patients (n=6) with a CAS score < 3 and 6 control healthy subject were collected. The pooled tears were further fractionated using high pH reversed-phase chromatography, then submitted to LC-MS/MS and subsequent bioinformatic analysis. Results. Proteomic profiling identified 107 significantly changed proteins between the inactive stage of TAO patients and healthy cases. Among these proteins, 62 were upregulated, and 45 were downregulated in TAO cases compared to healthy individuals. Enrichment analysis revealed that the immune system, cell cycle, metabolism (carbohydrate metabolism and metabolism of cofactors and vitamins), protein synthesis and degradation might play a vital role in the progress of inactive TAO. The present investigation represents the first proteomic tear study of TAO patients in the inactive stage. Conclusion. The results shed light on the differences between inactive TAO patients and healthy cases, thus enabling us to understand better the molecular mechanisms and potential targets for the treatment of inactive TAO.

Keywords: Tear proteomics, Thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy, Inactive stage, Bioinformatics

Correspondence: Rong Ao MD, 389 Xin Cun Road, Shanghai, 200065, China, E-mail: