Meibum sphingolipid composition is altered in individuals with meibomian gland dysfunction-a side by side comparison of Meibum and Tear Sphingolipids

Anat Galor, Victor Sanchez, Andrew Jensen, Madeline Burton, Kenneth Maus, Daniel Stephenson, Charles Chalfant, Nawajes Mandal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Sphingolipids (SPL) play a role in cell signaling, inflammation, and apoptosis. The purpose of this study was to examine meibum and tear SPL composition in individuals with poor versus good meibum quality. Methods: Individuals were grouped by meibum quality (n = 25 with poor quality, case group and n = 25 with good quality, control group). Meibum and tears were analyzed with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) to quantify SPL classes. Semiquantitative and relative composition (mole percent) of SPL and major classes, Ceramide (Cer), Hexosyl-Ceramide (Hex-Cer), Sphingomyelin (SM), Sphingosine (Sph), and sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) were compared between groups. Results: Demographic characteristics were similar between the two groups. Overall, individuals with poor meibum quality had more SPL pmole in meibum and tears than controls. Relative composition analysis revealed that individuals with poor meibum quality had SPL composed of less Cer, Hex-Cer, and Sph and more SM compared to individuals with good quality meibum. This pattern was not reproduced in tears as individuals with poor meibum quality had SPL composed of a similar amount of Cer, but more Hex-Cer, Sph and SM compared to controls. In meibum, SPL pmole and relative composition most strongly correlated with MG metrics while in tears, SPL pmole and relative composition most strongly correlated with tear production. SPL in both compartments, specifically Cer pmole in meibum and S1P% in tears, correlated with DE symptoms. Conclusion: SPL composition differs in meibum and tears in patients with poor vs good meibum quality. These findings may be translated into therapeutic targets for disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalOcular Surface
Volume23
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Ceramide
  • Dry eye
  • Inflammation
  • Meibomian gland dysfunction
  • Sphingolipid
  • Sphingomyelin
  • Sphingosine 1-phosphate
  • Tear film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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