The purpose of our study was to examine the correlation between the lacrimal gland function and apoptotic figure, Fas and Fas ligand (FasL) expression in the lacrimal gland. A total of 15 dry eye patients (nine Sjögren's syndrome and six non-Sjögren's syndrome-type dry eye) were recruited for the study. Lacrimal function was evaluated by Schirmer tests 1 and 2. Lacrimal gland biopsies were performed and sections were analyzed by immunohistochemistry using APO2·7, an antibody to Fas and FasL. Quantitative analysis of fluorescein staining was performed by a scanning laser microscopy. Schirmer test 2 results were lower in Sjögren's syndrome-type dry eye and were associated with positive staining of acinar cells with APO2·7 and of infiltrating lymphocytes with FasL. There was a good correlation between the results of Schirmer test 2 and APO2·7 and FasL staining. Lacrimal gland dysfunction is related to the apoptotic figure of acinar cells possibly induced by FasL on the infiltrating lymphocytes.
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