As an important part of the tear film, mucin can be divided into secretory mucin and membrane-associated mucin according to different functions.Secretory mucin, secreted by goblet cells, plays a key role in maintaining the stability of the tear film, antimicrobial properties and ocular surface protection.Membrane-associated mucin, expressed by corneal conjunctival epithelium, plays a key role in maintaining the stability of the tear film, barrier, and signal transduction.Quality or quantity abnormal of mucin may damage the stability of tear film, leading to dry eye.While dry eye may damage the integrity of the epithelium of ocular surface, resulting in exacerbation of mucin abnormalities.The detection methods of mucin include tear ferning test, ocular surface staining, impression cytology, confocal microscopy, tear break-up time, and quantitative detection of mucin.P2Y2 receptor agonists and mucin secretion agonists can improve mucin secretion.Ophthalmologists should understand the basic characteristics and functions of ocular surface mucin and pay close attention to current clinical examination and its association with dry eye in order to push forward the related study and develop the precise diagnosis and therapeutic methods for mucin deficiency dry eye as well as the comprehensive therapies of mixed type, midrate to severe dry eye and immune-associated dry eye.
Author: Hong Jing
Cite as Chin J Exp Ophthalmol, 2020,38(11): 910-915.
Mucin; Goblet cell; Dry eye
Department of Ophthalmology, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing Key Laboratory of Restoration of Damaged Ocular Nerve, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing 100191, China
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