The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Mouse lacrimal cell study

I'm not going to attempt to summarize something this technical, but I do love this sort of thing. When i'm done tripping over the terminology and prowling through wikipedia to get a better sense of it, I'm just in such awe of the complexity and beauty of our tear production system. We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Polycystin-2 expression and function in adult mouse lacrimal acinar cells.

Lacrimal glands regulate the production and secretion of tear fluid. Dysfunction of lacrimal gland acinar cells can ultimately result in ocular surface disorders, such as dry-eye disease. Ca(2+) homeostasis is tightly regulated in the cellular environment, and secretion from the acinar cells of the lacrimal gland is regulated by both cholinergic and adrenergic stimuli, which both result in changes in the cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration. We have previously described the detailed intracellular distribution of IP(3)Rs and RyRs in lacrimal acinar cells, however, little is known regarding the expression and distribution of the third major class of intracellular Ca(2+) release channels, transient receptor potential polycystin family (TRPP) channels.

Studies were performed in adult lacrimal gland tissue of Swiss-Webster mice. Expression, localization and intracellular distribution of TRPP Ca(2+) channels were investigated using immunocytochemistry, immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. The biophysical properties of single polycystin-2 channels were investigated using a planar lipid bilayer electrophysiology system.

All channel-forming isoforms of TRPP channels (polycystin-2, polycystin-L and polycystin-2L2) were expressed in adult mouse lacrimal gland. Subcellular analysis of immunogold labeling revealed strongest polycystin-2 expression on the membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi and nucleus. Biophysical properties of lacrimal gland polycystin-2 channels were similar to those described for other tissues.

The expression of TRPP channels in lacrimal acinar cells suggests a functional role of the proteins in the regulation of lacrimal fluid secretion under physiological and disease conditions, and provides the basis for future studies focusing on physiology and pharmacology.

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Apr 20. [Epub ahead of print]
Kaja S, Hilgenberg JD, Rybalchenko V, Medina-Ortiz WE, Gregg EV, Koulen P.
Vision Research Center and Departments of Ophthalmology and Basic Medical Science, University of Missouri - Kansas City, School of Medicine, Kansas City, MO.