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Antti H. Rantamäki, Juha M. Holopainen *; The Effect of Phospholipids on Tear Film Lipid Layer Surface Activity. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(1):149-154. doi: 10.1167/iovs.16-20468.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
We illustrate the importance of small quantities (<10 mol%) of polar phospholipids on the surface-active behavior of meibum-like lipid compositions.
Artificial meibum-like lipid mixture containing cholesteryl and wax esters was mixed with differing amounts of phosphatidylcholine (PC). The surface activity of these mixtures was investigated at the air–water interface by recording surface pressure created by the lipid layer as a function of molecular area at 37°C. The PC proportion in the mixtures was 0, 2.5, 5, 7.5, or 10 mol%, and the remaining proportion in the mixture was 50:50 (mol/mol) of cholesteryl oleate (CO) and behenyl oleate (BO). Also, the effect of temperature was investigated.
The surface activity of the mixtures increased in a very predictable and consistent fashion as a function of the PC proportion. The lipid mixture containing only CO and BO showed miniscule surface activity. However, already 2.5% PC mixed with the nonpolar CO and BO generated considerable increase in surface pressure. At small surface areas, the behavior of 7.5% and 10% PC compositions started to approach that of a pure PC monolayer. The temperature did not have a considerable impact on the surface-active behavior of the PC-containing compositions.
The polar phospholipids have a considerable effect on the surface-active properties of artificial tear film lipid layer (TFLL) compositions. Surprisingly, this takes place already at very low and physiologically relevant PC proportions. The effect is more dependent on the actual amount of the phospholipids at the air–tear interface than on the relative amount of these lipids in TFLL.
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