Assessment of dry eye in a GVHD murine model: Approximation through tear osmolarity measurement

Rafael Martínez-Carrasco*, Luis Ignacio Sánchez-Abarca, Cristina Nieto-Gómez, Elisabet Martín García, Teresa L. Ramos, Almudena Velasco, Fermín Sánchez-Guijo, José Aijón, Emiliano Hernández-Galilea

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Dry eye disease is one of the most frequent pathological events that take place in the course of the graft versus host disease (GVHD), and is the main cause of deterioration in quality of life for patients. Thus, demonstration of dry eye signs in murine models of oGVHD is crucial for the validation of these models for the study of the disease. Given the increasing evidence that tear osmolarity is an important player of dry eye disease, our purpose in this study was to validate the use of a reliable method to assess tear osmolarity in mice: the electrical impedance method. Then, we wanted to test its utility with an oGVHD model. Tear volume assessment was also performed, using the phenol red thread test. We found differences in tear osmolarity in mice that received a transplant with cells from bone marrow and spleen (the GVHD group) when compared with mice that only received bone marrow cells (the BM group) at day 7 (362 ± 8 mOsm/l and 345 ± 9 mOsm/l respectively; P < 0.01) and day 21 (348 ± 19 mOsm/l vs. 326 ± 15 mOsm/l; P < 0.05). We found also differences in tear volume at day 14 (2.30 ± 0.61 mm in oGVHD group and 2.89 ± 0.62 mm in BM group; P = 0.06) and at day 21 (2.10 ± 0.30 mm in oGVHD group and 2.89 ± 0.32 mm in BM group; P < 0.01). Besides this, we observed reduction in epithelial thickness between the GVHD and BM groups (37.0 ± 6.2 μm and 43.6 ± 3.3 μm respectively; P < 0.05). These data show the usefulness of the electrical impedance method to measure tear osmolarity in mice. We can also conclude that this oGVHD model mimics the tear film alterations found in human dry eye disease, what contributes to give relevance to this model for the study of GVHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-69
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Eye Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Dry eye
  • Mice
  • Ocular graft-versus-host disease (oGVHD)
  • Osmolarity
  • Tear film instability


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