Background Corneal suturing is a surgical procedure used in patients with corneal trauma or transplants. It was reported that endogenous neutrophils are brightly labelled in gene-targeted mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) under the control of the endogenous lysozyme M promoter (LysM-eGFP mice).
Methods We applied intravital imaging methods to analyse in vivo the dynamics of LysM-positive granulocytes (neutrophils) in LysM-eGFP mice with corneal sutures and examined their role in the elicitation of neutrophil infiltration.
Results We found that in the presuturing state, neutrophils strongly positive for LysM were located in the periphery of the corneal stromal layer; none were present in the centre of the cornea. After introducing a corneal suture, neutrophils accumulated in limbal vessels and then migrated to the corneal side and the conjunctival side, suggesting that they derived from limbal vessels. Thereafter they accumulated towards the central corneal area, arriving at the suture about 7 h after its placement. Although corneal sutures may elicit the continuous infiltration of neutrophils, their number was markedly decreased by day 1 after suture removal and continued to decrease thereafter.
Conclusions Our results showed that corneal sutures may elicit the continuous infiltration of neutrophils.
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