Tearing maturates rapidly after birth, and external environmental challenges play a key role in promoting lacrimal functional maturation. However, little is known about the facilitative factors underlying this developmental process or the potential of application of these factors to treat hypofunction of the lacrimal gland. In this study, eye opening and the subsequent ocular surface sensory experience, which is thought to be involved in postnatal maturation of lacrimal function, were investigated. Our results demonstrated that eye opening after birth is essential for the maturation of neonatal tearing. The maturation process of lacrimal function is dependent on the ocular surface sensory experience via transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily member 1 after birth. This study provides, for the first time, important evidence of the sensory experience of the ocular surface in relation to the maturation of functional tear secretion during the postnatal period.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine