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Xiao-Min Chen, Jian-Biao Kuang, Hui-Yin Yu, Zhen-Ning Wu, Shu-Yi Wang, Shi-You Zhou; A Novel Rabbit Dry Eye Model Induced by a Controlled Drying System. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2021;10(4):32. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.10.4.32.
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To establish an environment-induced dry eye model in rabbits using a controlled drying system (CDS).
Rabbits were randomly divided into two groups. The rabbits in the dry group were housed in the CDS, in which the relative humidity, airflow, and temperature were controlled at 22% ± 4%, 3 to 4 m/s, and 23°C to 25°C for 14 days. The rabbits in the control group were housed in a normal environment at the same time. A Schirmer test, fluorescein staining, and lissamine green staining were performed. On day 14, the eyeballs and lacrimal glands were processed for evaluating the corneal epithelial thickness, inflammatory cell infiltration index, goblet cell density, and expression of the MUC5AC protein and caspase-3 protein. The mRNA expression of the involved inflammatory genes was analyzed.
The CDS was able to maintain a dry environment, in which the tear production decreased, and the ocular surface staining increased over time in the rabbits. In the dry group, the corneal epithelium became thinner, inflammatory cells were noted, goblet cells and MUC5AC proteins decreased, and the increased levels of caspase-3 proteins and inflammatory cytokines were observed in the ocular surface tissues and lacrimal glands.
This CDS could create a dry environment, in which the rabbits exhibited a pathological change in dry eye similar to that in humans.
This model would be helpful in offering a platform to identify and test candidate therapies for environment-induced dry eye and to explore its underlying mechanisms.
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