The protective effect of a topical mucin secretagogue on ocular surface damage induced by airborne carbon black exposure

Xiangzhe Li, Boram Kang, Youngsub Eom, Hyung Keun Lee, Hyo Myung Kim, Jong-Suk Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE. Exposure to airborne particulate matter can induce ocular surface damage and inflammation. We evaluated the effects of a topical mucin secretagogue on the mitigation of ocular surface damage induced by exposure to airborne carbon black (CB). METHODS. Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to ambient CB for 2 hours twice daily for 5 days. Corneal staining score and tear lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) activity were measured to evaluate ocular surface damage. Serum immunoglobulin (Ig) G and IgE levels and the sizes of cervical lymph nodes were also measured. The expressions of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-17, and interferon (IFN)-γ were measured by Western blot analysis. Diquafosol tetrasodium was instilled six times a day for 5 days, and the extent of ocular surface damage was evaluated. RESULTS. After exposure to airborne CB, the median corneal staining score and LDH activity were significantly increased. Serum IgG and IgE levels and the sizes of cervical lymph nodes were also significantly increased. Additionally, the expression of IL-4 and IFN-γ was elevated in the anterior segment of the eyeball. Furthermore, the expression of IL-4, IL-17, and IFN-γ was elevated in the cervical lymph nodes. When exposed to airborne black carbon, topical diquafosol tetrasodium significantly increased tear MUC5AC concentration and decreased tear LDH activity. CONCLUSIONS. Exposure to airborne CB induced ocular surface damage and increased proinflammatory cytokines in the eyes and cervical lymph nodes. Topical mucin secretagogues seem to have a protective effect on the ocular surface against exposure to airborne particulate matters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-264
Number of pages10
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1



  • Air pollution
  • Carbon black
  • Mucin secretagogue
  • Ocular surface damage
  • Particulate matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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