Scientific reports 2016 09 096() 32871 doi 10.1038/srep32871
The mechanisms of corneal epithelial lesions and delayed wound repair, as well as their association with diabetes mellitus, are critical issues for clinical ophthalmologists. To test whether the diabetic condition alters the circadian rhythm in a mouse cornea and whether insulin can synchronise the corneal clock, we studied the effects of streptozotocin-induced diabetes on the mitosis of epithelial cells, the recruitment of leukocytes to the cornea, and the expression of main core clock genes (Clock, Bmal1, Per2, Cry1, and Rev-erbα) in the corneal epithelium. We also assessed the possible effect of insulin on these modifications. Diabetes downregulated Clock, Bmal1, and Per2 expression, upregulated Cry1 and Rev-erbα expression, reduced corneal epithelial mitosis, and increased leukocyte (neutrophils and γδ T-cells) recruitment to the cornea. Early treatments with insulin partially restored the altered rhythmicity in the diabetic cornea. In conclusion, insulin-dependent diabetes altered the normal rhythmicity of the cornea, and insulin administration had a beneficial effect on restoring normal rhythmicity in the diabetic cornea.