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Yuichi Hori; Secreted Mucins on the Ocular Surface. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(14):DES151-DES156. doi: 10.1167/iovs.17-23623.
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Mucins, which play important roles on the ocular surface in wettability, lubrication, and barrier function, are classified into two categories: secreted mucins and membrane-associated mucins. The most important secreted mucin on the ocular surface is MUC5AC, which is secreted by the conjunctival goblet cells. In the human conjunctiva, goblet cells are present in higher concentrations in the fornix, inferior nasal bulbar, and the lid wiper on the lid margin. The number of conjunctival goblet cells and MUC5AC expression/secretion are decreased in a patient with dry eye. In Japan, drugs that stimulate mucin secretion or increase the number of conjunctival goblet cells are commercially available. A P2Y2 receptor, diquafosol, stimulates tear fluid secretion from conjunctival epithelial cells and promotes mucin secretion from conjunctival goblet cells. Rebamipide was marketed originally as an oral therapeutic drug to treat gastritis in Japan. Topical rebamipide increases numbers of goblet cells in the bulbar conjunctiva and the lid wiper area of palpebral conjunctiva. Many researchers have reported decreases in the ocular surface mucin expression including MUC5AC secreted by goblet cells in patients with dry eye. However, it is unknown whether changes in mucin expression on the ocular surface cause or result from dry eye. Further study is needed to determine the true mechanism of dry eye disease.
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