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Molecular and cellular biomarkers in dry eye disease and ocular allergy

Enríquez-de-Salamanca, Amalia; Bonini, Stefano; Calonge, Margarita

Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology: October 2012 - Volume 12 - Issue 5 - p 523–533
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e328357b488
EYE ALLERGY: Edited by Leonard Bielory and Stefano Bonini

Purpose of review To summarize recent studies in biomarkers in dry eye disease (DED) and ocular allergy in the last 18 months.

Recent findings New significant correlations with clinical symptoms and signs have been described for some tear molecules (proteins, cytokines/chemokines, metalloproteinases, mucins and lipids). Correlation with disease severity has been shown for some of them. New proposed DED biomarkers include some proteins, such as S100A8, S100A9, lipocalin-1, secretory phospholipase A2 and some cytokines and chemokines; mucin-1 mRNA conjunctival expression levels are shown to be a very sensitive and specific DED diagnosis biomarker; metalloproteinase-9 tear level is confirmed as a good DED biomarker; cell parameters such as conjunctival cell viability and proliferative capacity have been also proposed as DED biomarkers. In ocular allergy, protein activated receptor-2, heat shock protein-70, eosinophil cationic protein and hemopexin have been pointed as potential biomarkers. Characterization of neuromediators tear levels confirmed the involvement of these molecules in both DED and ocular allergy.

Summary Biomarkers are essential to monitor health status. Several studies have proposed different molecules and/or cellular parameters as potential biomarkers for DED and ocular allergy. The knowledge presented in these studies will further add support to the discovery and development of new drugs and the establishment of personalized medicine.

aIOBA (Institute of Applied Ophthalmobiology), University of Valladolid, Valladolid

bNetworking Research Center on Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), Spain

cDepartment of Ophthalmology. University of Rome Campus BioMedico, Rome, Italy

Correspondence to Amalia Enríquez-de-Salamanca, IOBA, University of Valladolid. Paseo de Belén 17, E-47011, Valladolid, Spain. Tel: +34 983 186369; e-mail:

Copyright © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.