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Yu-Jun Tang, Han-Hsin Chang, Chun-Yi Chiang, Chane-Yu Lai, Min-Yen Hsu, King-Rong Wang, Hsin-Hsuan Han, Ling-Yun Chen, David Pei-Cheng Lin; A Murine Model of Acute Allergic Conjunctivitis Induced by Continuous Exposure to Particulate Matter 2.5. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(6):2118-2126. doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-26214.
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Several pieces of epidemiologic evidence have indicated PM2.5 (particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 μm or less) as a causing factor of allergic conjunctivitis, but without experimental elucidation of mechanism. In the present study, PM2.5 in solution was directly applied to the mouse ocular surface to elucidate whether PM2.5 might cause allergic conjunctivitis, and its underlying mechanisms were analyzed.
ICR mice were challenged for 18 consecutive days with eye drops containing PM2.5 at 3.2, 6.4, and 12.8 mg/mL in 0.9% NaCl saline, along with the controls prepared in parallel without PM2.5 and another control group treated with both PM2.5 at 12.8 mg/mL and artificial tears. On day 19, the whole eyes and meibomian glands were harvested for histopathological analyses and assessment of clinical scoring, tear volume, tear breakup time, and tear ferning. Furthermore, goblet cells by periodic acid Schiff stain and infiltrated eosinophils by Giemsa stain were quantified and compared among study groups.
Clinical scoring showed more eyelid edema, tearing, and scratching behaviors, with longer tear breakup time under the influence of increased PM2.5 concentrations. Tear ferning assay showed less tear crystal formation and decreased crystal branches after exposure to PM2.5. In addition, higher goblet cell density in the upper palpebral conjunctiva and extensive eosinophil infiltration in the entire conjunctiva and in the meibomian glands were induced by PM2.5.
These results demonstrate that PM2.5 can induce symptoms similar to clinical allergic conjunctivitis and that the murine acute allergic conjunctivitis model can be induced by direct exposure to PM2.5.
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