Understanding tears and regulation of lacrimal gland secretions

December 30, 2016

The lacrimal gland of the eye secretes a major component of tears, yet surprisingly little is still understood about the signaling pathways that activate lacrimal gland secretions. The most current knowledge of how purinergic receptors affect the function of the lacrimal gland and interact with neurotransmitters is presented in a review article published in the Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Robin Hodges and Darlene Dartt, Schepens Eye Research Institute/Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA are coauthors of the article entitled "Signaling Pathways of Purinergic Receptors and Their Interactions with Cholinergic and Adrenergic Pathways in the Lacrimal Gland." They discuss and interpret recent research findings on the signaling pathways activated by the purinergic present on the lacrimal gland. Other key topics include the regulation of lacrimal gland secretion, the potential role this regulatory activity could play in normal and pathological responses of the lacrimal gland, and mechanisms of crosstalk between purinergic and other types of receptors.

"This is a well-written, comprehensive review that nicely summarizes a complex and important area of research relevant to dry-eye disease," says Editor-in-Chief W. Daniel Stamer, PhD, Joseph A. C. Wadsworth Professor of Ophthalmology and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC.

Explore further: Scientists find potential treatment for 'painful blindness' form of dry eye

More information: Robin R. Hodges et al. Signaling Pathways of Purinergic Receptors and Their Interactions with Cholinergic and Adrenergic Pathways in the Lacrimal Gland, Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics (2016). DOI: 10.1089/jop.2016.0008

Related Stories

Neural stimulation offers treatment for 'dry eye'

December 10, 2015

Scientists have developed a device that electronically stimulates tear production, which will offer hope to sufferers of dry eye syndrome, one of the most common eye diseases in the world.

What can Frizzled7 reveal about breast cancer development?

April 5, 2016

A new study shows that Frizzled7 (FZD7), a protein present on human breast epithelial cells and a component of the Wnt signaling pathway is uniquely controlled by the Notch signaling pathway, both of which play key roles ...

Common antibiotic may combat dry eye disease

December 23, 2013

Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is the leading cause of dry eye disease, which affects tens of millions of Americans. However, there is no FDA-approved treatment for MGD. Researchers from the Schepens Eye Research Institute/Massachusetts ...

Recommended for you

'CYCLOPS' algorithm spots daily rhythms in cells

April 25, 2017

Humans, like virtually all other complex organisms on Earth, have adapted to their planet's 24-hour cycle of sunlight and darkness. That circadian rhythm is reflected in human behavior, of course, but also in the molecular ...

Discovery offers new hope to repair spinal cord injuries

April 24, 2017

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes created a special type of neuron from human stem cells that could potentially repair spinal cord injuries. These cells, called V2a interneurons, transmit signals in the spinal cord to ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (1) Jan 02, 2017
To remain entirely ignorant of the biological function of the lacrymal glands opens these researchers to condemnation and ridicule. Emotional tears differ from irritant induced tears in the appearance of dissolved proteins and unusual salts, both of which are of obvious biological benefit to the body. Given the emission of protein & ion bearing tears at farewells, welcomes, funerals, weddings, victories, and defeats, it is clear that theirs is a pheromone reception function. The dissolved proteins sequester the ions, releasing them upon pheromone exposure by their suddenly changing conformation, to change the potential difference/voltage across a nearby receptor membrane to signal the brain of the pheromone's presence.
We see that the susceptibility to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome at six weeks of age and the appearance of emotional tears at that same age can explain SIDS deaths. When SIDS cases stop under oscillating fans, pheromone plume disruption is the only answer.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.