Influence of Ophthalmic Solutions on Tear Components

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Tear fluids are a mixture of secretions derived from lacrimal glands, accessory lacrimal glands, conjunctiva, and meibomian glands. Compositional changes to tears occur in the normal state and during ocular surface disease, such as dry eye conditions. We have investigated compositional changes to tears after topical application of ophthalmic solutions, with regard to tear-specific proteins (secretory immunoglobulin A, lactoferrin, lipocalin-1, and lysozyme) and ocular surface mucin in normal and dry eye conditions using high-performance liquid chromatography. After application of saline solution (0.9% sodium chloride) in normal subjects, transient but significant decreases in all tear components were observed. The recovery of protein concentrations took up to 30 minutes and lasted longer when the saline solution was applied more frequently. When applying ophthalmic solutions, a balance between washout and dilutional effects should be considered in addition to the therapeutic effect. Investigation of the effect of diquafosol solution (3%) in normal subjects revealed a significant increase in sialic acid concentration, a marker of ocular mucin, at 5 minutes after application, whereas a significant decrease was observed with saline. This result indicates the accelerated secretion of mucin from ocular tissues induced by diquafosol. A clinical study to determine the efficacy of diquafosol in patients with dry eye revealed improvements in tear breakup time, keratoconjunctival staining scores, and Schirmer test score, accompanied by an increase in sialic acid concentration in tears. Investigating normal and dry eye conditions through tear analysis may clarify the pathophysiology of dry eye conditions and support the efficacy of treatments.

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