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Neoplastic transformation of ciliary body epithelium is associated with loss of opticin expression
  1. David C Assheton1,
  2. Eoin P Guerin1,
  3. Carl M Sheridan1,
  4. Paul N Bishop2,
  5. Paul S Hiscott1
  1. 1Unit of Ophthalmology, Department of Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  2. 2Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research, Faculty of Life Sciences and Academic Unit of Ophthalmology, The Medical School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to: David C Assheton Unit of Ophthalmology, Department of Medicine, University Clinical Departments, Duncan Building, Daulby Street, Liverpool L69 3GA, UK; dave{at}


Background: Opticin is a recently discovered glycoprotein present predominantly in the vitreous humour. It is synthesised and secreted by the ciliary body epithelium (CBE) from the initiation of CBE development in the embryo, and production continues throughout life.

Aim: To determine whether a variety of ciliary body tumours synthesise opticin to characterise further its role in ciliary body health and disease.

Methods: Immunohistochemistry was used to determine the distribution of opticin in normal human CBE, and in hyperplastic and neoplastic CBE lesions.

Results: Opticin was immunolocalised to the basal cell surface and basement membrane material of the non-pigmented CBE in nine donor eyes as well as four hyperplastic lesions of the CBE (Fuchs’s adenoma). By contrast, none of eight neoplastic lesions (two adenoma and six adenocarcinoma) of CBE stained for opticin.

Conclusion: The present series supports the theory that opticin is produced by the non-pigmented CBE throughout adult life. Loss of opticin expression by this tissue is associated with and could contribute towards neoplastic transformation.

  • CBE, ciliary body epithelium
  • SLRP, small leucine-rich repeat proteoglycan/protein

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Published Online First 27 September 2006

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