Cyclooxygenase-2-expressing macrophages in human pterygium co-express vascular endothelial growth factor

Choul Yong Park, Jong Sun Choi, Sung Jun Lee, Sang Won Hwang, Eo Jin Kim, Roy S. Chuck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression and to characterize COX-2-expressing stromal cells in human pterygium. Methods: Primary pterygium tissue of Korean patients (eight males and nine females) was analyzed. The clinical characteristics were classified, and immunohistochemical staining using primary antibodies against cyclooxygenease-2, vascular endothelial growth factor-A, cluster of differentiation (CD)68, CD3, CD20, and leukocyte common antigen was performed. Results: COX-2 expression was detected in all pterygium tissues evaluated (17 primary pterygia). Diffuse expression of COX-2 in the epithelial layer was observed in nine samples. Infiltration of strongly positive COX-2 cells into the epithelial layer was a more common observation than diffuse epithelial COX-2 expression. Scattered COX-2-expressing cells in the stromal layer were found in all samples. Some COX-2-positive cells were found within microvessels. In addition to stromal COX-2-expressing cells, a few vascular endothelial cells strongly expressed COX-2; however most of the vessels were negative for COX-2 expression. Stromal COX-2-expressing cells were positive for the macrophage marker CD68 and co-expressed vascular endothelial growth factor. COX-2 expression in normal conjunctiva was not observed in seven control samples. Conclusions: These COX-2- and vascular endothelial growth factor-expressing macrophages may have relevance to the pathogenesis of pterygium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3468-3480
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular vision
StatePublished - Dec 29 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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