The purpose of this study is to compare the levels of MMP-1, 2, 8, 9 in tear fluids of people exposed to mustard gas in the war between Iraq and Iran who had the chronic dry-eye symptoms compared to the normal group. In this study, 25 of the patients who were exposed to mustard gas and had chronic dry eye symptoms were compared to 25 patients as control group; consisting of 25 people who had common chronic dry eye symptoms with blepharitis and 25 healthy people as normal group. The level of MMP-1, 2, 8, 9 in tear fluid of people of these three groups was assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The results for levels ofMMP-1 (P=0.8) and MMP-2 (P=0.54) in tear fluid of patients in comparison with normal group do not indicate any significant difference. On the other hand, the calculated levels for MMP-8 (P=0.002) and MMP-9 (P=0.01) in tear fluid of patients in comparison with normal group shows a significant increase. The differences were considered statistically significant at p< 0.05. The effects of exposure to mustard gas on eyes of chemical-injured veterans destroy meibomian glands which paves the way for evaporative dry-eye. As a result, MMPs in tear fluid of these patients increase which eventually elevates the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) levels in tear fluid and results in later eye-impairments.
Key words: Mustard gas, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
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