Lacrimal Gland Myoepithelial Cells Are Altered in a Mouse Model of Dry Eye Disease. Am J Pathol 2020;190(10):2067-2079.Abstract.
The purpose of this study was to determine the pathogenic changes that occur in myoepithelial cells (MECs) from lacrimal glands of a mouse model of Sjögren syndrome. MECs were cultured from lacrimal glands of C57BL/6J [wild type (WT)] and thrombospondin 1 null (TSP1, alias Thbs1) mice and from mice expressing α-smooth muscle actin-green fluorescent protein that labels MECs. MECs were stimulated with cholinergic and α-adrenergic agonists, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), and the purinergic agonists ATP and UTP. Then intracellular [Ca] was measured using fura-2, and contraction was observed using live cell imaging. Expression of purinergic receptors was determined by Western blot analysis, and mRNA expression was analyzed by microarray. The increase in intracellular [Ca] with VIP and UTP was significantly smaller in MECs from TSP1 compared with WT mice. Cholinergic agonists, ATP, and UTP stimulated contraction in MECs, although contraction of MECs from TSP1 mice was reduced compared with WT mice. The amount of purinergic receptors P2Y1, P2Y11, and P2Y13 was significantly decreased in MECs from TSP1 compared with WT mice, whereas several extracellular matrix and inflammation genes were up-regulated in MECs from TSP1 mice. We conclude that lacrimal gland MEC function is altered by inflammation because the functions regulated by cholinergic agonists, VIP, and purinergic receptors are decreased in TSP1 compared with WT mice.