Inflammation in dry eye syndrome: Identification and targeting of oxylipin-mediated mechanisms

Dry eye syndrome (DES) is characterized by decreased tear production and stability, leading to desiccating stress, inflammation and corneal damage. DES treatment may involve targeting the contributing inflammatory pathways mediated by polyunsaturated fatty acids and their derivatives, oxylipins. Here, using an animal model of general anesthesia-induced DES, we addressed these pathways by characterizing inflammatory changes in tear lipidome, in correlation with pathophysiological and biochemical signs of the disease. The decline in tear production was associated with the infiltration of inflammatory cells in the corneal stroma, which manifested one to three days after anesthesia, accompanied by changes in tear antioxidants and cytokines, resulting in persistent damage to the corneal epithelium. The inflammatory response manifested in the tear fluid as a short-term increase in linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid-derived oxylipins, followed by elevation in arachidonic acid and its derivatives, leukotriene B4 (5-lipoxigenase product), 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12-lipoxigeanse product) and prostaglandins, D2, E2 and F2α (cyclooxygenase products) that was observed for up to 7 days. Given these data, DES was treated by a novel ophthalmic formulation containing a dimethyl sulfoxide-based solution of zileuton, an inhibitor of 5-lipoxigenase and arachidonic acid release. The therapy markedly improved the corneal state in DES by attenuating cytokine- and oxylipin-mediated inflammatory responses, without affecting tear production rates. Interestingly, the high efficacy of the proposed therapy resulted from the synergetic action of its components, namely, the general healing activity of dimethyl sulfoxide, suppressing prostaglandins and the more specific effect of zileuton, downregulating leukotriene B4 (inhibition of T-cell recruitment), as well as upregulating docosahexaenoic acid (activation of resolution pathways). © 2020 by the authors.

Chistyakov D.V. 1 , Gancharova O.S.1 , Baksheeva V.E.1 , Tiulina V.V.1, 2 , Goriainov S.V. 3 , Azbukina N.V.4 , Tsarkova M.S.2 , Zamyatnin A.A.Jr. , Philippov P.P.1 , Sergeeva M.G. 1 , Senin I.I.1 , Zernii E.Y.1, 5
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  • 1 Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, 119992, Russian Federation
  • 2 Skryabin Moscow State Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnology, Moscow, 109472, Russian Federation
  • 3 Shared Research and Education Center of the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
  • 4 Faculty of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics, Moscow Lomonosov State University, Moscow, 119234, Russian Federation
  • 5 Institute of Molecular Medicine, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
5-lipoxigenase; Corneal damage; Dimethyl sulfoxide; Dry eye syndrome; Inflammation; Leukotriene B4; Oxidative stress; Prostaglandins; Tear lipidome; Zileuton
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