Tear fluid secreted from the exocrine lacrimal gland (LG) has an essential role in maintaining a homeostatic environment for a healthy ocular surface. Tear secretion is regulated by the sympathetic and parasympathetic components of the autonomic nervous system, although the contribution of each component is not fully understood. To investigate LG innervation, we identified sympathetic and parasympathetic postganglionic nerves, specifically innervating the mouse LG, by injecting a retrograde neuronal tracer into the LG. Interruption of neural stimuli to the LG by the denervation of these postganglionic nerves immediately and chronically decreased tear secretion, leading to LG atrophy along with destruction of the lobular structure. This investigation also found that parasympathetic, but not sympathetic, innervation was involved in these alterations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine