Metabolomics analysis in pterygium tissue

  • Ayhan SaglikEmail author
  • Ismail Koyuncu
  • Ataman Gonel
  • Hamza Yalcin
  • Fatih Mehmet Adibelli
  • Muslum Toptan
Original Paper



The aim of the study was to measure amino acid levels with the metabolomics analysis in pterygium tissue and normal conjunctiva tissue.

Materials and methods

In this prospective, randomized, clinical study, a comparison of the amino acid profile of pterygium tissue and normal conjunctiva tissue taken during autograft pterygium surgery was made. After homogenization of the tissues, amino acid levels were measured with chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) in the biochemistry laboratory. Statistical analysis was made using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test.


Evaluation of pterygium and normal conjunctiva tissues of 29 patients, comprising 16 females and 13 males with a mean age of 54.75 ± 11.25 years (range 21–78 years) was made. While a dramatic increase was observed in all the amino acid levels in the pterygium tissue compared to the normal conjunctiva (p > 0.05), only the increases in arginine, methionine, glycine and tyrosine amino acids were determined to be statistically significant (p < 0.01), (p = 0.028), (p = 0.038), (p = 0.046).


Pterygium is known to be degenerative inflammatory fibrovascular tissue. When the aetiology is examined in depth, several metabolic processes are seen to have an effect. Further studies of the amino acid profile with more extensive patient series could confirm the data obtained in the current study and contribute to the clarification of the pathogenesis of pterygium.


Amino acid Chromatography–mass spectrometry Metabolomics Pterygium 



This work was supported by the research fund of Harran University (HUBAK). Project Number: 17244.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements) or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.


  1. 1.
    Di Girolamo N, Chui J, Coroneo MT, Wakefield D (2004) Pathogenesis of pterygia: role of cytokines, growth factors, and matrix metalloproteinases. Prog Retin Eye Res 23:195–228. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Detorakis ET, Spandidos DA (2009) Pathogenetic mechanisms and treatment options for ophthalmic pterygium: trends and perspectives. Int J Mol Med 23:439–447. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Anguria P, Kitinya J, Ntuli S, Carmichael T (2014) The role of heredity in pterygium development. Int J Ophthalmol 7:563. Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Coroneo M (1993) Pterygium as an early indicator of ultraviolet insolation: a hypothesis. Br J Ophthalmol 77:734. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Van Setten G, Aspiotis M, Blalock TD, Grotendorst G, Schultz G (2003) Connective tissue growth factor in pterygium: simultaneous presence with vascular endothelial growth factor–possible contributing factor to conjunctival scarring. Graefe’s Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 241:135–139. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Golu T, Mogoanta L, Streba C, Pirici D, Malaescu D, Mateescu GO, Mutiu G (2011) Pterygium: histological and immunohistochemical aspects. Rom J Morphol Embryol 52:153–158Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Liu T, Liu Y, Xie L, He X, Bai J (2013) Progress in the pathogenesis of pterygium. Curr Eye Res 38:1191–1197. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Di Girolamo N (2012) Association of human papilloma virus with pterygia and ocular-surface squamous neoplasia. Eye 26:202–211. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ang LP, Chua JL, Tan DT (2007) Current concepts and techniques in pterygium treatment. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 18:308–313. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wu C-W, Peng M-L, Yeh K-T, Tsai Y-Y, Chiang C-C, Cheng Y-W (2016) Inactivation of p53 in pterygium influence miR-200a expression resulting in ZEB1/ZEB2 up-regulation and EMT processing. Exp Eye Res 146:206–211. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ozturk BT, Yildirim MS, Zamani A, Bozkurt B (2017) K-ras oncogene mutation in pterygium. Eye 31:491–498. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lai H-S, Lee J-C, Lee P-H, Wang S-T, Chen W-J (2005) Plasma free amino acid profile in cancer patients. In: Seminars in cancer biology, pp 267–276.
  13. 13.
    Rahimi N, Razi F, Nasli-Esfahani E, Qorbani M, Shirzad N, Larijani B (2017) Amino acid profiling in the gestational diabetes mellitus. J Diabetes Metab Disord 16:13. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bi X, Henry C (2017) Plasma-free amino acid profiles are predictors of cancer and diabetes development. Nutr Diabetes 7:249. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hu Z, Zhu Z, Cao Y, Wang L, Sun X, Dong J, Fang Z, Fang Y, Xu X, Gao P (2016) Rapid and sensitive differentiating ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes by dried blood spot based direct injection mass spectrometry metabolomics analysis. J Clin Lab Anal 30:823–830. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    la Marca G, Malvagia S, Pasquini E, Innocenti M, Fernandez MR, Donati MA, Zammarchi E (2008) The inclusion of succinylacetone as marker for tyrosinemia type I in expanded newborn screening programs. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 22:812–818. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Tan DT-H, Liu Y-P, Sun L (2000) Flow cytometry measurements of DNA content in primary and recurrent pterygia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 41:1684–1686Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kase S, Osaki M, Jin X-H, Ohgami K, Yoshida K, Saito W, Takahashi S, Nakanishi K, Ito H, Ohno S (2007) Increased expression of erythropoietin receptor in human pterygial tissues. Int J Mol Med 20:699–702. Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Karukonda S, Thompson HW, Beuerman RW, Lam D, Wilson R, Chew SJ, Steinemann TL (1995) Cell cycle kinetics in pterygium at three latitudes. Br J Ophthalmol 79:313–317. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Perra MT, Maxia C, Corbu A, Minerba L, Demurtas P, Colombari R, Murtas D, Bravo S, Piras F, Sirigu P (2006) Oxidative stress in pterygium: relationship between p53 and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine. Mol Vis 12:1136–1142.
  21. 21.
    Roux C, Riganti C, Borgogno SF, Curto R, Curcio C, Catanzaro V, Digilio G, Padovan S, Puccinelli MP, Isabello M (2017) Endogenous glutamine decrease is associated with pancreatic cancer progression. Oncotarget 8:95361. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Burrill JS, Long EK, Reilly B, Deng Y, Armitage IM, Scherer PE, Bernlohr DA (2015) Inflammation and ER stress regulate branched-chain amino acid uptake and metabolism in adipocytes. Mol Endocrinol 29:411–420. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Miuma S, Ichikawa T, Arima K, Takeshita S, Muraoka T, Matsuzaki T, Ootani M, Shibata H, Akiyama M, Ozawa E (2012) Branched-chain amino acid deficiency stabilizes insulin-induced vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA in hepatocellular carcinoma cells. J Cell Biochem 113:3113–3121. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Vissers YL, Dejong CH, Luiking YC, Fearon KC, von Meyenfeldt MF, Deutz NE (2005) Plasma arginine concentrations are reduced in cancer patients: evidence for arginine deficiency? Am J Clin Nutr 81:1142–1146. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyHarran University Faculty of MedicineHaliliyeTurkey
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryHarran University Faculty of MedicineHaliliyeTurkey
  3. 3.Unit of Biometry and GeneticsHarran University Faculty of AgricultureHaliliyeTurkey

Personalised recommendations