Keratoconus is a common corneal ectasia that leads to progressive visual impairment. Numerous studies have shown abnormal protein expression patterns in keratoconic corneas. However, the specific mechanisms causing this disease remain ambiguous. This review aims to provide an update on morphological studies of the keratoconic cornea, relate these early studies with current findings from proteomic, biochemical and cell culture studies and to postulate possible pathogenic pathways.
Keywords: Corneal epithelium; Cytokine; Keratoconus; Keratocytes; Morphology; Oxidative stress; Pathogenesis; Proteomics; TGF-β.