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FH Grus, AJ Augustin, N Pfeiffer; Analysis of Autoantibodies in Tears of Dry-Eye Patients . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):64.
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Purpose:The hypothesis of an autoimmune nature of dry-eye is supported by the successful treatment of the disease with immunomodulatory drugs (cyclosporin A). Although it is known that tears contain antibodies, a very little is known about the antibody repertoires in tears. It was the aim of this study to analyze the IgA antibody repertoire against ocular antigens in the tears of patients suffering from dry eye disease. Methods:Two groups were examined: 20 healthy volunteers (CTRL) and 28 patients suffering from dry eye disease. All tears were tested against western blots of ocular antigens. For each western blot, a densitograph was built by digital image analysis and subsequently a multivariate analysis of discriminance was performed. Results:A complex staining pattern was found in the tears of both dry eye patients and healthy controls. However, the number of peaks was statistically significantly increased (P<0.05) in the tears of dry eye patients. The analysis of discriminance found a statistically significant difference between the antibody repertoires of both groups (Wilks' Lambda= 0.11; P<0.0001). Conclusion:In this study it could be shown that the complex antibody repertoires in the tears of patients suffering from dry eye disease are very different from those found in the tears of healthy volunteers. Thus, our findings support the hypothesis that the dry eye disease has an underlying autoimmune mechanism.
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