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David A. Sullivan, Benjamin D. Sullivan, M. David Ullman, Eduardo M. Rocha, Kathleen L. Krenzer, Jennifer M. Cermak, Ikuko Toda, Marshall G. Doane, James E. Evans, L. Alexandra Wickham; Androgen Influence on the Meibomian Gland. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000;41(12):3732-3742.
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purpose. The hypothesis in the study was that androgens control meibomian gland
function, regulate the quality and/or quantity of lipids produced by
this tissue, and promote the formation of the tear film’s lipid layer.
To test this hypothesis, a study was conducted to determine whether
androgen receptor protein exists in the epithelial cell nuclei of rat
meibomian glands and, in addition, whether androgen deficiency and/or
treatment influences the gross morphology, neutral lipid content, and
fatty acid profile of the rabbit meibomian gland, as well as the
appearance of the tear film lipid layer.
methods. Rat lids were obtained and processed for immunohistochemistry.
Meibomian glands from intact, androgen- and/or placebo-treated rabbits
were analyzed by histology, and glandular lipids were evaluated by gas
chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and mass
spectrometry. The rabbit tear film lipid layer was assessed by
results. In the current study androgen receptor protein existed within
acinar epithelial cell nuclei of rat meibomian glands; androgen
deficiency was associated with alterations in the lipid content of the
rabbit meibomian gland; 19-nortestosterone treatment modulated the
fatty acid profile in the total and neutral lipid fractions of the
rabbit meibomian gland; and androgens did not appear to influence the
gross morphology of meibomian tissue or to exert a demonstrable effect
on the rabbit tear film lipid layer.
conclusions. The findings show that the meibomian gland is an androgen target organ
and that androgens influence the lipid profile within this tissue.
However, the extent to which androgens regulate the production of these
lipids and whether this action may impact tear film stability remain to
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