PURPOSE: To develop a dry eye model of mouse induced by topical administration of benzalkonium chloride (BAC) and investigate the possible mechanisms.
METHODS: BAC at concentration of 0.2% was applied to the mouse ocular surface for 7 days. Phenol red thread tear test, tear break-up time (BUT) test, corneal inflammatory index scoring, fluorescein and rose bengal test were performed to evaluate the toxic effects of BAC on the ocular surface. Global specimens were collected on day (D) 7 and labeled with a series of antibodies including cytokeratin 10 (K10) and mucin 5AC (MUC5AC). Apoptosis of ocular surface epithelium was evaluated by in situ terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay. Histologic analysis and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were performed on D7.
RESULTS: BAC at a concentration of 0.2% successfully induced a dry eye condition with decreased tear volume and BUTs, increased corneal fluorescein and rose bengal scores. The Inflammatory index was increased in accompanyment with higher tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) expression and more inflammatory infiltration in the cornea. Immunolabeling revealed positive K10 expression in BAC-treated corneal epithelium and fewer MUC5AC-positive cells in the BAC-treated conjunctival fornix. TUNEL assay showed more apoptotic cells in the corneal basal epithelium. TEM showed that the size and intervals of the microvillis were both reduced in the corneal epithelium.
CONCLUSIONS: Topical administration of 0.2% BAC in mouse induces changes resembling that of dry eye syndrome in humans, and thus, represents a novel model of dry eye.
Mol Vis. 2011 Jan 25;17:257-64.
Lin Z, Liu X, Zhou T, Wang Y, Bai L, He H, Liu Z.