What We Have Learned From Animal Models of Dry Eye

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The development of reliable animal models which are relevant to human disease provides a valuable research tool. A key use of these models is to identify “attackable” targets and develop candidate therapeutics based on this knowledge.
Findings in dry eye dogs, that the ocular surface (conjunctiva) and lacrimal glands are replete with infiltrating lymphocytes, was a key discovery that inflammation causes dry eye disease.1 This phenomenon is also seen in salivary and lacrimal gland biopsies from patients with Sjögren syndrome, who experience signature symptoms of dry eye and dry mouth due to mucosal dryness. This gave the first indication that dry eye is an immune-based inflammatory disease of the lacrimal functional unit (LFU).
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