Meibomian gland dysfunction is suppressed via selective inhibition of immune responses by topical LFA-1/ICAM antagonism with lifitegrast in the allergic eye disease (AED) model.
PURPOSE: The etiology of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is incompletely understood, despite being a common ophthalmic condition and an area of unmet medical need. It is characterized by an insufficiency in glandular provision of specialized lipids (meibum) to the tear film and is a major cause of dry eye. Work in the allergic eye disease (AED) mouse model has revealed an immunopathogenic role in MGD causation, now raising interest in the applicability of immunomodulatory therapies. As such, we herein ask whether inhibition of lymphocyte function associated antigen (LFA)-1/intracellular adhesion molecules (ICAM)-1 signaling via topical lifitegrast administration has a therapeutic effect on MGD in AED mice. METHODS: Mice were induced with AED by i.p. injection of ovalbumin (OVA) mixed with alum and pertussis toxin, followed 2 weeks later by once daily topical OVA challenges for 7 days. Mice were treated topically with 5% lifitegrast ophthalmic solution or vehicle (PBS) 30 min prior to challenge. We developed a clinical ranking method to assess MGD severity, and also scored clinical allergy. Conjunctivae and draining lymph nodes were collected for flow cytometry. RESULTS: Topical lifitegrast significantly inhibited clinical MGD severity, which was associated with diminished pathogenic TH17 cell and neutrophil numbers in the conjunctiva. No significant change in conjunctival TH2 cells or eosinophils, and only marginal differences in ocular allergy were observed. CONCLUSIONS: In AED mice, lifitegrast inhibited MGD severity marked by a reduction in select immune populations in the conjunctiva. Our findings warrant future examination of lifitegrast in the treatment of patients with forms of MGD.
Singh, PP; Yu, C; Mathew, R; Perez, VL; Saban, DR
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