Oral administration of royal jelly restores tear secretion capacity in rat blink-suppressed dry eye model by modulating lacrimal gland function

PLoS One. 2014 Sep 22;9(9):e106338. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106338. eCollection 2014.


Tears are secreted from the lacrimal gland (LG), a dysfunction in which induces dry eye, resulting in ocular discomfort and visual impairment. Honey bee products are used as a nutritional source in daily life and medicine; however, little is known about their effects on dry eye. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of honey bee products on tear secretion capacity in dry eye. We selected raw honey, propolis, royal jelly (RJ), pollen, or larva from commercially available honey bee products. Tear secretion capacity was evaluated following the oral administration of each honey bee product in a rat blink-suppressed dry eye model. Changes in tear secretion, LG ATP content, and LG mitochondrial levels were measured. RJ restored the tear secretion capacity and decrease in LG ATP content and mitochondrial levels to the largest extent. Royal jelly can be used as a preventative intervention for dry eye by managing tear secretion capacity in the LG.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Blinking
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / drug therapy*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Fatty Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids / therapeutic use
  • Honey
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / drug effects*
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / physiopathology
  • Propolis / administration & dosage
  • Propolis / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Tears / metabolism*


  • Fatty Acids
  • Propolis
  • royal jelly

Grant support

This work was supported by a Yamada research grant from Yamada Bee company, Inc. This does not alter the authors' adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials. This funding source had no involvement in the study design, data collection and analysis decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.