Lipid-Based Therapy for Ocular Surface Inflammation and Disease

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


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.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Eye / pathology*
  • Eye Diseases / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / therapy*
  • Lipids / chemistry*


  • Lipids