Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Eye Res. 2007 Nov;32(11):931-8.

Detection and localization of the hydrophobic surfactant proteins B and C in human tear fluid and the human lacrimal system.

Author information

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Halle/Saale, Germany.



To evaluate the expression and presence of the surfactant proteins (SP) B and C in the lacrimal apparatus at the ocular surface and in tear fluid.


Expression of SP-B and SP-C was analyzed by RT-PCR in healthy lacrimal gland, conjunctiva, meibomian gland, accessory lacrimal glands, cornea, and nasolacrimal ducts. The deposition of the hydrophobic proteins SP-B and SP-C was determined by Western blot and immunohistochemistry in healthy tissues, tear fluid, and aqueous humor.


The presence of both SP-B and SP-C on mRNA and protein level was evidenced in healthy human lacrimal gland, conjunctiva, cornea, and nasolacrimal ducts. Moreover, both proteins were present in tear fluid but were absent in aqueous humor. Immunohistochemical investigations revealed production of both peptides by acinar epithelial cells of the lacrimal gland and additionally by accessory lacrimal glands of the eyelid as well as epithelial cells of the conjunctiva and nasolacrimal ducts. Immunohistochemically, healthy cornea and goblet cells revealed no reactivity.


Besides the recently detected surfactant-associated proteins SP-A and SP-D, our results show that SP-B and SP-C are also peptides of the tear film, the ocular surface, and the lacrimal apparatus. Based on the current knowledge of lowering surface tension in alveolar lung cells, a similar effect of SP-B and SP-C may be assumed concerning the tear film.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center