Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New research holds promise for treatments for a range of women's health issues

Date:
April 18, 2013
Source:
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Summary:
Natural lubricants play an important role in health, including helping prevent osteoarthritis in joints. Much is still unknown about their role and function in other areas of the body. Researchers for the first time have discovered that the surface of the eye produces "lubricin," the same substance that protects the joints, and have explained its role in this sensory organ.

Natural lubricants play an important role in health, including a well-known effect to help prevent osteoarthritis in knee and ankle joints. However, much is still unknown about their role and function in other areas of the body. Researchers for the first time have discovered that the surface of the eye produces "lubricin," the same substance that protects the joints, and have explained its role in this sensory organ. These findings provide new hope for the millions suffering from dry eye disease and complications from contact lens wear and refractive surgery. Dry eye disease is one of the most frequent causes of patient visits to eye care practitioners and occurs predominantly in women.

Related Articles


In a JAMA Ophthalmology paper published online April 18, David Sullivan, Ph.D., of Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Schepens Eye Institute in Boston, Mass., and Tannin Schmidt, Ph.D., at the University of Calgary in Canada, examined human tissues and cells to determine whether the glycoprotein lubricin is produced by the ocular surface (the anterior segment, or front part of the eye, which includes the cornea and conjunctiva).

Their research demonstrated that ocular surface cells produce lubricin, which prevents friction between the cornea and conjunctiva, reducing shear stress (such as during eye blinking) to prevent eye injury at the ocular surface. Furthermore, they demonstrated that lubricin deficiency in the eye contributes to corneal damage.

Findings from the study also demonstrate the presence of lubricin mRNA (the genetic material necessary to create lubricin) in a number of exocrine, urinary and reproductive tissues (salivary, bladder, cervical/vaginal & uterine), suggesting that lubricin could play a similar role throughout the body.

"These novel findings hold promise not only for treatment of conditions such as dry eye disease, or complications from contact lens wear and refractive surgery," said lead author Dr. David Sullivan, who is also the Founder of the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society. "They are also encouraging for the possible treatment of postmenopausal vaginal atrophy and other disorders that occur more commonly in women, such as xerostomia and interstitial cystitis."

"This is a new and exciting area of research for my laboratory," said Dr. Tannin Schmidt, who is jointly appointed in Kinesiology and Biomedical Engineering, "I am excited to see where this discovery leads us in terms of potential new therapies as well as novel contact lens materials that help improve biocompatibility and extend the length of time you can wear your lenses."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tannin A. Schmidt et al. Transcription, Translation, and Function of Lubricin, a Boundary Lubricant, at the Ocular Surface. JAMA Ophthalmol., 2013;():1-11 DOI: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2013.2385

Cite This Page:

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. "New research holds promise for treatments for a range of women's health issues." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418162308.htm>.
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. (2013, April 18). New research holds promise for treatments for a range of women's health issues. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418162308.htm
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. "New research holds promise for treatments for a range of women's health issues." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418162308.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins