Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier affilié universitaire de Québec (CRCHA)
Domaine : Cancer
Skin and eyes are the only human organs to be directly affected by solar radiations. In skin, negative effects of this exposure are well known. On the other hand, only few studies have been conducted to better understand sunlight effects on the human eye. The proposed project aims to analyze the effects of sun ultraviolet (UV) on human cornea. The cornea is the most external ocular structure. It is transparent to visible light but blocks most of the harmful UV rays. Cornea is thus protecting the underlying structures against UV rays. As part of this project, we suggest to (1) determine the extent of damage induced by UV in human cornea, (2) evaluate the repair efficiency of those damage in cornea and (3) analyze the cell death in cornea following UV radiation. Unlike skin, where a direct link is well established between sun exposure and skin cancer, no cancer has ever been found in human cornea, despite constant exposure to solar radiations. This paradox suggests that the cornea has very effective mechanisms to protect itself against toxic effects caused by solar UV. In addition to provide important information about molecular mechanisms by which the human eye is protecting itself against environmental stress, this study will help to understand mechanisms involved in the induction of cancers.