Document Detail

Estrogen prevention of lacrimal gland cell death and lymphocytic infiltration.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12907167     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Previous studies have shown that ovariectomy causes necrosis of lacrimal acinar cells, apoptosis of plasma cells and gland lymphocytic infiltration. Both, lacrimal gland cell death and lymphocytic infiltration were prevented by androgen treatment. Since estrogens are removed by ovariectomy, and the synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol has been shown to affect some biochemical correlates of lacrimal secretion, the purpose of this study was to determine the effect of 17-beta-estradiol treatment on ovariectomy-induced cell death and lymphocytic infiltration. Sexually mature female New Zealand white rabbits (4-4.5 kg) were ovariectomized and divided into two groups. One group was treated with 0.5 mg kg(-1) per day 17-beta-estradiol, and the other group with vehicle alone. A third group of sham operated rabbits was used as controls and they also were treated with vehicle alone. Six days after surgery, the animals were euthanized, the lacrimal glands removed and processed for analysis of apoptosis as assessed by DNA fragmentation, and for morphological examination. DNA fragmentation was determined using the TUNEL assay and agarose gel electrophoresis. Sections were also stained for rabbit thymic lymphocyte antigen (RTLA), and rabbit CD18. Labelled nuclei and stained areas were quantified by automated densitometry. Ovariectomized rabbits showed a significant increase in the values for degraded DNA as a percent of total nuclear area (2.90+/-0.40%) compared to sham operated rabbits (0.73+/-0.22%). 17-beta-estradiol treatment in ovariectomized rabbits prevented the increase in DNA degradation. Examination of TUNEL assay at higher magnification (40x) confirmed previous studies showing that ovariectomy caused apoptosis of interstitial cells. Significant numbers of bulging cells of very pale appearance under light microscopy, also confirm previously identified necrotic cells in acinar regions. Treatment with 17-beta-estradiol prevented this necrosis. Increased numbers of RTLA(+) and CD18(+) interstitial cells were also evident after ovariectomy. 17-beta-estradiol treatment prevented the increase in the number of lymphoid cells. We confirmed previous observations that suggest that glandular atrophy observed after ovariectomy is likely to proceed by necrosis of acinar cells rather than apoptosis, and that ovariectomy triggers an inflammatory response in the gland. These results suggest that in addition to androgens, estrogens also seem to play a role to maintain lacrimal gland structure and function. A decrease in available estrogen levels could trigger both lacrimal gland apoptosis and necrosis, as well as lymphocytic infiltration. Although, the effect of estrogens in these experiments seems to be direct and not through androgens, the possibility of the role of an autocrine and/or paracrine factors, promoted by estrogen on lacrimal gland cells still needs to be investigated.
Ana Maria Azzarolo; Heather Eihausen; Joel Schechter
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Experimental eye research     Volume:  77     ISSN:  0014-4835     ISO Abbreviation:  Exp. Eye Res.     Publication Date:  2003 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-08-08     Completed Date:  2003-10-06     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370707     Medline TA:  Exp Eye Res     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  347-54     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biomedical Science, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science Center, Florida Atlantic University, Bldg 71, Room 145, 777 Glades Rd., P.O. Box 3091, Boca Raton, FL 33431-0991, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Antigens / immunology
Antigens, CD18 / immunology
Apoptosis / drug effects*,  physiology
DNA Fragmentation / drug effects
Electrophoresis, Agar Gel / methods
Estradiol / pharmacology*
Immunohistochemistry / methods
In Situ Nick-End Labeling / methods
Lacrimal Apparatus / drug effects*,  pathology,  physiology
Lymphocytes / drug effects*,  immunology
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Antigens; 0/Antigens, CD18; 50-28-2/Estradiol

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