The role of cholesterol in chronic blepharitis

W. E. Shine, James P McCulley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

90 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Chronic blepharitis has been a difficult disease to define either microbiologically or biochemically. Sterols from meibomian secretions of normal subjects and patients were analyzed, and important differences were observed. Based on analyses of these secretions, two significantly different (P < 0.001) types of normal subjects were found, those with and those without cholesterol esters [Norm(CP) and Norm(CA), respectively]. All patients' secretions contained cholesterol esters. Evidence was obtained which suggests that oxysterols may control the ester cholesterol accumulation. Furthermore, only when cholesterol esters were present did wax and sterol esters containing unsaturated fatty acids accumulate. Over 90% of these unsaturated fatty acids were normal (unbranched); the rest were iso-fatty acids. Preliminary results also suggest that the ester fatty alcohols are much more complex than previously reported; seven alcohols were common to all samples analyzed. Additionally, highly oxygenated alcohols were detected, especially in the meibomian keratoconjunctivitis (MKC) disease group. The MKC samples also contained an alcohol (mass, M/Z 378) not present in any of the other samples analyzed. Based on analysis of variance and linear-regression models, it was determined that the long-chain (C20-28) fatty acids were more important in determining disease signs. Furthermore, in the MKC group, the ratio of unsaturated C18 fatty acids to cholesterol in the wax and sterol esters was significantly different (P < 0.05) from the Norm(CP) group. The authors discuss the fact that rabbit meibomian secretions are stable, despite containing a very high percentage of ester sterols, and relate this to their high percentage of branched-chain fatty acids and low percentage of unsaturated fatty acids. These results, together with previous work, further suggest that lipid abnormalities result in the many signs and symptoms of chronic blepharitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2272-2280
Number of pages9
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Volume32
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1991

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Blepharitis
Cholesterol Esters
Sterols
Keratoconjunctivitis
Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Esters
Cholesterol
Fatty Acids
Waxes
Alcohols
Linear Models
Fatty Alcohols
Signs and Symptoms
Analysis of Variance
Rabbits
Lipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

Cite this

The role of cholesterol in chronic blepharitis. / Shine, W. E.; McCulley, James P.

In: Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Vol. 32, No. 8, 1991, p. 2272-2280.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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