Relationship Between Dynamic Changes in Expression of IL-17/IL-23 in Lacrimal Gland and Ocular Surface Lesions in Ovariectomized Mice

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Abstract

Purpose:

An ovariectomized mouse model was constructed to observe the dynamic effects of hormone changes on the expression of interleukin (IL)-17A and IL-23 in the lacrimal glands.

Methods:

The ovariectomized mouse model was constructed by bilateral ovary removal. The concentrations of serum estradiol and testosterone in mouse cardiac blood were detected by radioimmunoassay. Mice in both groups underwent the phenol red cotton thread test and corneal fluorescein staining to assess the ocular surface, whereas Th17 cells in blood and spleen were detected by flow cytometry. IL-17A and IL-23 expression in the lacrimal glands was detected by immunohistochemistry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and real-time fluorescence quantitative polymerase chain reaction.

Results:

Serum estradiol and testosterone levels were significantly lower in the ovariectomized group compared with those in the control group. There was lymphocytic infiltration in the lacrimal gland of the ovariectomized group mice. At 6 months after the surgery, aqueous tear production was significantly lower, and statistically significant corneal fluorescein staining was found in the ovariectomized group, compared with that in the control group. In the ovariectomized group, IL-17A and the IL-23 expression in the lacrimal glands and the Th17 expression in the blood and spleen were significantly higher than in the control group.

Conclusion:

The hormone levels are significantly reduced and lymphocytic infiltration in the lacrimal gland in ovariectomized mice, whereas the frequency of Th17 cells in the blood and spleen and IL-17A and IL-23 expression in the lacrimal glands are increased, leading to reduced tear production and positive fluorescein staining in the cornea.

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