Prolactin-Induced Protein facilitates corneal wound healing

Wentao Liang, Jian Xing Ma, Lyly Van, Brenda Vasini, Dimitrios Karamichos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The purpose of the study was to investigate the role of Prolactin-Induced Protein (PIP) in corneal wound healing, in vivo and in vitro. In C57BL/6J mice, corneal epithelia was removed using an ocular burr. Phosphate buffered saline (PBS) or PIP (0.5 and 1.0 μg/mL) was applied topically or subconjunctivally injected. PIP accelerated wound closure as early as 24 h. PIP treatment promoted corneal wound healing and epithelial integrity and thickness. Integrin α6, integrin β4, Thrombospondin-1, and TGF-β1 expressions were all downregulated by PIP after wound closure. In vitro, scratch assays were performed using primary human epithelial cells (HCECs) and human corneal fibroblasts (HCFs), stimulated with PIP at various dosages. PIP treatment promoted both HCECs and HCFs migration. PIP upregulated expression of integrin α6, integrin β4, and Thrombospondin-1 in HCECs. Expression of TGF-β1 in HCECs and expression of smooth muscle actin (SMA) and Type III Collagen (Col III) in HCFs were significantly downregulated at 150 ng/mL PIP. PIP exhibits noteworthy anti-fibrotic potentiality. While the mechanism of how PIP is impactful on the corneal wound healing cascade is unknown, our findings are novel and further studies are warranted in order to unravel any therapeutic potential.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109300
JournalExperimental eye research
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Alger brush
  • Cornea
  • Fibrosis
  • PIP
  • TGF-β
  • Wound healing


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