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H. Toshida, A. Murakami, D.H. Nguyen, J. Reynaud, R.W. Beuerman; Three–dimensional analysis of accessory lacrimal gland in a rabbit model of dry eye. . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(13):63.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: Acute section of the parasympathetic pre–ganglionic nerve in the rabbit results in the rapid development and persistence of a dry eye condition. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the development of accessory lacrimal glands on tarsal conjunctiva. Methods: The greater superficial petrosal nerve (GSPN) was separated unilaterally in rabbits under deep anesthesia as described (ARVO 2001, No.315). Schirmer’s test and rose bengal test were carried out to evaluate dry eye over 3 months. Rabbits were sacrificed by an overdose of anesthetic drug at 3 months after surgery. Lower lids were removed for serial sectioning across the middle 6 mm and embedded into plastic. About 160 10–micron sections were cut per eye and stained with toluidine blue. Each histologic section from the accessory lacrimal and meibomian glands was digitally imaged with a Hitachi HV–C20 3CCD camera attached to a Nikon Optiphot–2 microscope. Tissues of interest were segmented out of each section and given a distinct color. The image stacks were 3D reconstructed and rendered using openDX software. The structure of accessory lacrimal gland was also analyzed by transmission electron microscopy and light microscopy. Results: Tear flow was reduced to 26% of normal compared to the contra–lateral side (p < 0.005) at 1 week after denervation. Although rose bengal staining of the cornea and conjunctiva was less than at 1 week, it continued to be observed at 3 months. Development of additional accessory lacrimal gland tissue in the conjunctiva of the lower lid was observed in the denervated side analyzed by visualization of the 3D reconstructions. The development of the accessory gland was paralleled by a gradual increase of tear flow in the rabbit eye, although this was only about an additional 30% increase and did not prevent the continued staining of the ocular surface. Conclusions: It is suggested that dryness may cause the development of accessory lacrimal gland on the tarsal conjunctiva to compensate for the missing function of the main lacrimal gland.
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