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Daniel R Saban, Nancy Reyes, Rose Mathew, Chen Yu, Joan Kalnitsky, Victor L Perez, Preeya Gupta; Tear leukocyte phenotyping in meibomian gland dysfunction by large parameter flow cytometry. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):3313.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Chronic blepharitis is an associated risk factor of obstructive MGD. New tools that can immunophenotype the ocular surface in a longitudinal fashion may help better understand the relationship between inflammation and MGD. Here, we leveraged large parameter flow cytometry to examine tear leukocyte content in various MGD patient populations.
Patients were evaluated and consented at the Duke Eye Center. Severity of MGD was graded and tears were collected on a one-time basis. A total of n=64 subjects were included, which comprised of non-MGD controls (n=14) and MGD subjects (n=50). An n=12 MGD subjects had an underlying immune disease diagnosis (Sjögren’s, atopy, or rosacea), whereas others had MGD only (n=38). After tear collection, cells were resuspended and stained on a per subject basis for CD3, CD4, HLA-DR, CD11b, CD14, CD15, CD16, and viability dye.
Both lymphocytes (CD3+) and myeloid cells (CD3- CD11b+) were identifiable in MGD subject tears. Average leukocyte count in total MGD subject tears was significantly higher (p<0.001) relative to controls. Specifically, average count in immune disease subjects was statistically higher than control (p<0.001), and the same was observed in MGD only (p<0.001). Interestingly, average leukocyte count in immune disease subjects was statistically higher than in MGD only subjects (p<0.001).
Tear leukocyte counts are amplified in MGD patients, which is consistent with the current understanding that obstructive MGD is associated with inflammation. In addition, we were also able to resolve a presence of increased tear leukocytes in subjects with underlying immune disease. Flow cytometry could be a useful tool in MGD research.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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