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Cornea

Effects of Quercetin in a Mouse Model of Experimental Dry Eye.


PMID 26203745

Abstract

To evaluate the effect of treatment with quercetin in a mouse model of dry eye. 0.5% quercetin eye drops were prepared and an experimental dry eye model was induced in NOD.B10.H2(b) mice through desiccation stress. The mice were divided into 3 groups according to the treatment regimen: the DS 10D group (desiccation stress for 10 days), the phosphate buffered saline (PBS) group, and the quercetin group. Tear volumes and corneal irregularity scores were measured at 3, 5, 7, and 10 days after treatment. Hematoxylin and eosin staining, periodic acid-Schiff staining, and immunohistochemistry were performed at the end of the experiment. The quercetin group had increased tear volumes (0.2 ± 0.03 μm, P < 0.05) and decreased corneal irregularity scores (0.7 ± 0.6, P < 0.05) compared with those of the PBS group. On histological examination, the quercetin group exhibited restored smooth corneal surfaces without detaching corneal epithelial cells and had significantly increased goblet cell density (13.8 ± 0.8 cells/0.1 mm², P < 0.05) compared with the PBS group. The quercetin group also exhibited significant declines of MMP-2 (5.1-fold of control, P < 0.01), MMP-9 (2.5-fold of control, P < 0.01), ICAM-1 (2.2-fold of control, P < 0.01), and VCAM-1 (2.3-fold of control, P < 0.01) levels in the lacrimal gland than did the PBS group. Topical application of quercetin can help to improve ocular surface disorders of dry eye not only by decreasing the corneal surface irregularity but also by increasing the tear volume and goblet cell density. Moreover, quercetin has the potential for use in eye drops as a treatment for dry eye disease with antiinflammatory effects on the lacrimal functional unit.

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