Role of stem cells in regenerative treatment of dry eye disease caused by lacrimal gland dysfunction
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJackson, C. J., Naqvi, M., Gundersen, K. G., & Utheim, T. P. (2022). Role of stem cells in regenerative treatment of dry eye disease caused by lacrimal gland dysfunction. Acta Ophthalmologica. 10.1111/aos.15629
An ageing population and increased screen use in younger people have contributed to a rise in incidence of dry eye disease (DED). Quality of life can be significantly affected by DED, with patients experiencing eye dryness, burning, pain and sensitivity to light. If left untreated, DED may progress to cause lasting damage to the delicate cell layers of the ocular surface. The aqueous-deficient form of DED is characterized by decreased tear volume. This can occur through underlying disease or damage to the lacrimal gland (LG), which results in increased inflammation at the ocular surface and decreased tear secretion. Regenerative therapy for treatment of aqueous-deficient DED would ideally restore LG function without causing adverse side effects and be feasible in terms of cost, production and practical application in the clinic. In this review, we evaluate research directed at the development of clinical procedures for regeneration of the LG using various stem cell types and their products. We also discuss work identifying potential therapeutic targets that may alter pathways to effect healing and ameliorate development of DED. Finally, we discuss shortcomings and recommend future avenues for research. These include determination of the best tissue of origin for mesenchymal cells and transference of knowledge gleaned from animal studies to clinical investigations.