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Contribution of Mucins towards the Physical Properties of the Tear Film: A Modern Update

1
Department of Optics and Spectroscopy, Faculty of Physics, St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia, 5 James Bourchier Blvd, 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria
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Department of Cytology, Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Biology, St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia, 8 Dragan Tzankov Blvd., 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria
3
Department of Ophthalmology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto 602-0841, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(24), 6132; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20246132
Received: 4 November 2019 / Revised: 30 November 2019 / Accepted: 2 December 2019 / Published: 5 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dry Eye and Ocular Surface Disorders 2.0)
Instability of the tear film (TF) protecting the ocular surface results in dry eye syndrome (DES), the most prevalent public health ophthalmic disease affecting the quality of life of 10 to 30% of the human population worldwide. Although the impact of the tear film lipid layer (TFLL) and of the aqueous tears (AT) to the TF stability is extensively studied, in contrast the contribution of the secretory mucins (SM) and of the membrane-associated mucins (MAM), i.e., one of the most abundant molecular classes in AT and in the corneal epithelium respectively, remains poorly defined. However, it is well known that in DES both types of mucins are quantitatively or qualitatively deficient. Numerous studies since the 1990s until now have proposed direct involvement of SM and MAM in the material properties (viscoelasticity, hydration, and protection of the ocular surface; synergistic cooperation with the rest of the TF layers; etc.) and stability of TF. These theories will be reviewed here in the context of the classical and modern in vitro and in vivo results that allow their reappraisal and in view of the novel mucin secretion enhancing pharmaceuticals, which have opened innovative routes for the therapy of DES. View Full-Text
Keywords: tear film properties; secretory mucins; membrane associated mucins; dry eye therapy tear film properties; secretory mucins; membrane associated mucins; dry eye therapy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Georgiev, G.A.; Eftimov, P.; Yokoi, N. Contribution of Mucins towards the Physical Properties of the Tear Film: A Modern Update. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 6132.

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