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Yu-Jun Tang, Han-Hsin Chang, Chih-Ying Tsai, Ling-Yun Chen, David Pei-Cheng Lin; Establishment of a Tear Ferning Test Protocol in the Mouse Model. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(13):1. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.13.1.
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Analysis of ferning formation after tear drop desiccation on a glass slide has been applied as a simple method to examine tear normality and is referred to as the tear ferning (TF) test. Despite use of the TF test in clinical settings and in some animals, thus far no TF test protocol has been developed for the mouse model. This study aimed to establish a mouse TF test protocol that can be used for dry eye research using the mouse as the study model.
Tear samples were collected from 24 healthy mice after repeated flushes with 2, 5, 10, or 20 µL wash solutions, either 0.9% NaCl saline or sterile water, on the ocular surface. After sample collection, TF tests were performed at variable drop volumes (2–20 µL), at a relative humidity of either 46% ± 2% or 53% ± 2%, and with temperature fixed at 24°C ± 2°C for comparison. Moreover, the influence of osmolarity (between 280 and 360 mOsm/L) and pH values (6.5–8.0) and the effect of centrifugation (4000 rpm, 10 minutes) on ferning formation were examined. Reproducibility and ferning storage stability were also determined.
An optimized protocol was established with relative humidity at 46% ± 2% and drop aliquot at 2 µL, using 0.9% NaCl saline as the wash solution. Using sterilized water as the wash solution did not result in any crystalloid formation. Centrifugation did not aid ferning formation in any of the samples. Higher osmolarity increased ferning formation from grades between 0 to 1 to grades between 2 to 3, but pH values that varied between 6.5 and 8.0 did not affect ferning formation. The established mouse TF test protocol also displayed reproducibility and storage stability.
A TF test protocol for the mouse model was established that could be used for comparative analyses under various ocular surface disease conditions.
This mouse TF test protocol will facilitate the application of basic research into the mouse model to clinical care.
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