Studies have estimated that currently 344 million people worldwide and 16.4 million adults in the US have some form of dry eye disease (DED). It is believed that approximately 70% of DED cases are due to some form of evaporative dry eye, for which Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is the major cause. Unfortunately, currently there is no effective treatment for MGD, and solely palliative care is available. Given the importance of MGD in DED, there has been a growing interest in studying Meibomian gland development, homeostasis and pathology, and, also, in developing therapies for treating and/or preventing MGD. For such, animal models have shown to be a vital tool. Much of what is known today about the Meibomian gland and MGD was learnt from these important animal models. In particular, canine and rabbit models have been essential for studying the physiopathology and progression of DED, and the mouse model, which includes different knockout strains, has enabled the identification of specific pathways potentially involved in MGD. Herein, we provide a bibliographic review on the various animal models that have been used to study Meibomian gland development, Meibomian gland homeostasis and MGD, primarily focusing on publications between 2000 and 2020.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited