Androgens and dry eye in Sjögren's syndrome

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999 Jun 22;876:312-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1999.tb07656.x.


Sjögren's syndrome is an extremely complex and currently incurable autoimmune disorder, which occurs primarily in females, and is associated with lacrimal gland inflammation, meibomian gland dysfunction, and severe dry eye. We hypothesize that androgen deficiency, which reportedly occurs in primary and secondary Sjögren's syndrome (e.g., systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis), is a critical etiologic factor in the pathogenesis of dry eye syndromes. We further hypothesize that androgen treatment to the ocular surface will promote both lacrimal and meibomian gland function and alleviate both "aqueous-deficient" and "evaporative" dry eye. Our results demonstrate that androgens regulate both lacrimal and meibomian gland function, and suggest that topical androgen administration may serve as a safe and effective therapy for the treatment of dry eye in Sjögren's syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / complications*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / complications*


  • Androgens