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Trends Mol Med. 2015 Dec;21(12):736-748. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2015.10.001. Epub 2015 Nov 17.

Lipid-Based Therapy for Ocular Surface Inflammation and Disease.

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Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore.
Singapore Lipidomics Incubator, Life Sciences Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore; Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore; Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore.
Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore; Department of Ophthalmology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore; Ocular Surface Research Group, Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore; Department of Cornea and External Eye Disease, Singapore National Eye Center, Singapore. Electronic address:


Ocular surface diseases such as dry eye, allergic keratoconjunctivitis, and infection are very prevalent conditions and involve ocular surface stress and inflammation. Recently, various lipid-based therapies have been advocated for the modulation of ocular surface inflammation. Here we review the latest developments and challenges of these strategies. These include administration of essential fatty acids, cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors and resolvin analogs. Lipids form part of the tear film and are crucial for tear film stability; loss of tear film stability can aggravate ocular surface inflammation. Strategies to replenish tear film lipids - namely, eyelid warming and eye drops containing natural or synthetic lipids - are evaluated. Recent advances in the use of lipids as ocular drug delivery vehicles, antioxidants, and diagnostic markers are discussed.

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