Navigation Links
Harvard scientists 'see' the early cellular cause of dry eye disease for the first time

Bethesda, MDIf you are one of the millions of people around the world who struggle with dry eye disease, good news is on the way. A new research discovery published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology ( offers hope for new drugs that treat the cellular cause of the disease rather than its symptoms. That's because the research is the first to identify natural killer (NK) cells, a type of cell that provides innate immunity to the eyes, as promoting the inflammation that plays a critical role in the development of dry eye disease.

"Dry eye disease is suffered by millions of people in the U.S but still lacks effective management," said Yihe Chen, M.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Schepens Eye Research Institute at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary of the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. "Our study has promoted the further understanding of the pathogenesis of dry eye disease, which is fundamental to develop new treatments and thus improve quality of life for those with this disease."

To make their discovery, the scientists tested two groups of mice. The first group was normal and the second group was depleted of NK cells. When both sets of mice were induced with dry eye disease under the same conditions, the disease was less severe in the mice depleted of NK cells than the normal mice. This suggests that NK cells play a pivotal role in the development and severity of the disease, making them a target for the development of new drugs.

According to the National Eye Institute within the U.S. National Institutes of Health, dry eye disease occurs when the eyes do not produce tears properly or when tears evaporate too quickly. As many as five million Americans 50 years of age and older are estimated to have dry eye disease, with the majority affected being women. Tens of millions more are believed to have similar, but less severe symptoms.

"Dry eye disease can be a very serious problem for some people," said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, "and while drops may help some, they only treat the symptoms of the disease. This research gets us closer to being able to correct the problems before they even occur in the first place."


Contact: Cody Mooneyhan
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Related biology news :

1. Harvards engineering school receives $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant
2. Harvards Wyss Institute develops technology to produce sugar from photosynthetic bacteria
3. Harvards Wyss Institute uses natures design principles to create specialized nanofabrics
4. Phosphorous in sodas and processed foods accelerates signs of aging say Harvard scientists
5. New discovery by Harvard scientists aims to correct cellular defects leading to diabetes
6. Harvard research team receives $10M NSF grant to develop small-scale mobile robotic devices
7. Harvard scientists solve mystery about why HIV patients are more susceptible to TB infection
8. Duke, Harvard researchers to monitor bonobo reintroduction
9. Harvard scientist says we are what we eat -- and what we cook
10. Organizational Change Management for Sustainability: The Harvard Case Study
11. Scientists crack the spiders web code
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 On Monday, ... call to industry to share solutions for the Biometric ... U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), explains that CBP ... are departing the United States , ... and to defeat imposters. Logo - ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... FRANCISCO , June 16, 2016 ... size is expected to reach USD 1.83 ... by Grand View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and ... banking applications are expected to drive the market ... ) , The development of advanced ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... 2016 Paris Police Prefecture ... security solution to ensure the safety of people and operations ... the major tournament Teleste, an international technology group ... announced today that its video security solution will be utilised ... up public safety across the country. The system roll-out is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 A person commits a crime, and ... to track the criminal down. An outbreak of ... Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a ... of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... FRANCISCO , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome ... has secured $1 million in debt financing from Silicon ... ramp up automation and to advance its drug development ... its new facility. "SVB has been an ... beyond the services a traditional bank would provide," said ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated to identifying, ... community, has closed its Series A funding round, according ... "We have received a commitment from Forentis Fund ... to meet our current goals," stated Matthew Nunez ... to complete validation on the current projects in our ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Connecticut (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... introduce a new line of intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for ... September 12–17 in Chicago. The result of a collaboration among several companies with ...
Breaking Biology Technology: