Fresh and cryopreserved amniotic membrane secrete the trefoil factor family peptide 3 that is well known to promote wound healing

Histochem Cell Biol. 2012 Aug;138(2):243-50. doi: 10.1007/s00418-012-0943-2. Epub 2012 Apr 3.


Amniotic membrane (AM) is often used for the treatment of ocular surface ulcerations and other corneal defects. Trefoil factor family (TFF) peptide 3 is produced by conjunctival goblet cells, participates in tear film physiology and has also been shown to be involved in ocular surface restitution after corneal injury. In the present study, we questioned whether AM also might be a source of TFF3 and if yes whether the secretion rate of TFF3 is changed by proinflammatory cytokines or by cryoconservation of AM. By means of RT-PCR, the mRNA expression of all three known TFF peptides could be detected in AM. Immunohistochemistry on paraffin-embedded sections localized TFF3 protein and also TFF2 in AM cells and Western blot analysis revealed TFF3 protein in AM. Stimulation experiments with proinflammatory cytokines and subsequent TFF3 ELISA measurements revealed that the secretion rate of fresh or cryoconserved AM was not significantly changed. The results indicate that TFF peptides are produced by AM. TFF3 may contribute to ocular surface wound healing after AM transplantation, but its production by AM is not further inducible by proinflammatory stimuli. Cryopreservation has no effect on the secretion rate of TFF3 supporting the use of cryopreserved AM for transplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amnion / metabolism*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cryopreservation
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Peptides / metabolism*
  • Trefoil Factor-2
  • Trefoil Factor-3
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Peptides
  • TFF2 protein, human
  • TFF3 protein, human
  • Trefoil Factor-2
  • Trefoil Factor-3