Mucin Deficiency Causes Functional and Structural Changes of the Ocular Surface

Anne M. Floyd, Xu Zhou, Christopher Evans, Olivia J. Rompala, Lingxiang Zhu, Mingwu Wang, Yin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

MUC5AC is the most abundant gel-forming mucin in the ocular system. However, the specific function is unknown. In the present study, a Muc5ac knockout (KO) mouse model was subject to various physiological measurements as compared to its wide-type (WT) control. Interestingly, when KO mice were compared to WT mice, the mean tear break up time (TBUT) values were significantly lower and corneal fluorescein staining scores were significantly higher. But the tear volume was not changed. Despite the lack of Muc5ac expression in the conjunctiva of KO mice, Muc5b expression was significantly increased in these mice. Corneal opacification, varying in location and severity, was found in a few KO mice but not in WT mice. The present results suggest a significant difference in the quality, but not the quantity, of tear fluid in the KO mice compared to WT mice. Dry eye disease is multifactorial and therefore further evaluation of the varying components of the tear film, lacrimal unit and corneal structure of these KO mice may help elucidate the role of mucins in dry eye disease. Because Muc5ac knockout mice have clinical features of dry eye, this mouse model will be extremely useful for further studies regarding the pathophysiology of the ocular surface in dry eye in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere50704
JournalPloS one
Volume7
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 18 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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