Comparing the Effects of Particulate Matter on the Ocular Surfaces of Normal Eyes and a Dry Eye Rat Model

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Abstract

Purpose:

To compare the effect of exposure to particulate matter on the ocular surface of normal and experimental dry eye (EDE) rat models.

Methods:

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles were used as the particulate matter. Rats were divided into 4 groups: normal control group, TiO2 challenge group of the normal model, EDE control group, and TiO2 challenge group of the EDE model. After 24 hours, corneal clarity was compared and tear samples were collected for quantification of lactate dehydrogenase, MUC5AC, and tumor necrosis factor-α concentrations. The periorbital tissues were used to evaluate the inflammatory cell infiltration and detect apoptotic cells.

Results:

The corneal clarity score was greater in the EDE model than in the normal model. The score increased after TiO2 challenge in each group compared with each control group (normal control vs. TiO2 challenge group, 0.0 ± 0.0 vs. 0.8 ± 0.6, P = 0.024; EDE control vs. TiO2 challenge group, 2.2 ± 0.6 vs. 3.8 ± 0.4, P = 0.026). The tear lactate dehydrogenase level and inflammatory cell infiltration on the ocular surface were higher in the EDE model than in the normal model. These measurements increased significantly in both normal and EDE models after TiO2 challenge. The tumor necrosis factor-α levels and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase–mediated dUTP nick end labeling–positive cells were also higher in the EDE model than in the normal model.

Conclusions:

TiO2 nanoparticle exposure on the ocular surface had a more prominent effect in the EDE model than it did in the normal model. The ocular surface of dry eyes seems to be more vulnerable to fine dust of air pollution than that of normal eyes.

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