Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Scientific Reports




School of Medical and Health Sciences




Notara, M., Behboudifard, S., Kluth, M. A., Maßlo, C., Ganss, C., Frank, M. H., ... & Cursiefen, C. (2018). UV light-blocking contact lenses protect against short-term UVB-induced limbal stem cell niche damage and inflammation. Scientific reports, 8(1), 12564. Available here


UVB irradiation has been linked to pathogenesis of pterygium, a conjunctival tumor growing onto transparent cornea, the windscreen of the eye. Due to corneal anatomy, ambient UVB irradiation is amplified at the stem cell-containing nasal limbus. The aim of this study was to analyse the effect of a UV-blocking contact lens (UVBCL, senofilcon A, Class 1 UV blocker) on limbal epithelial cells and fibroblasts under UVB irradiation compared to a non-UVB-blocking contact lens. UVBCL prevented UVB-induced DNA damage (as assessed by cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer immunostaining) as well as a decrease in proliferation and scratch wound closure rate of both limbal epithelial and fibroblast cells. Similarly, UVBCL protected limbal epithelial cells from UVB-induced loss of their phenotype in terms of colony forming efficiency and stem cell marker expression (ABCB5, P63α, integrin β1) compared to controls. Moreover, with UVBCL pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNFα and MCP1 remained unchanged. These data demonstrate the significance of UV-protection in preserving the limbal niche in response to at least short-term UVB. Our data support the use of UVBCL in protecting limbal niche cells, especially after limbal stem cell transplantation and in patients after pterygium surgery, to help prevent recurrences.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.