Growth Hormone Influence on the Morphology and Size of the Mouse Meibomian Gland

J Ophthalmol. 2016;2016:5728071. doi: 10.1155/2016/5728071. Epub 2016 Feb 14.


Purpose. We hypothesize that growth hormone (GH) plays a significant role in the regulation of the meibomian gland. To test our hypothesis, we examined the influence of GH on mouse meibomian gland structure. Methods. We studied four groups of mice, including (1) bovine (b) GH transgenic mice with excess GH; (2) GH receptor (R) antagonist (A) transgenic mice with decreased GH; (3) GHR knockout (-/-) mice with no GH activity; and (4) wild type (WT) control mice. After mouse sacrifice, eyelids were processed for morphological and image analyses. Results. Our results show striking structural changes in the GH-deficient animals. Many of the GHR-/- and GHA meibomian glands featured hyperkeratinized and thickened ducts, acini inserting into duct walls, and poorly differentiated acini. In contrast, the morphology of WT and bGH meibomian glands appeared similar. The sizes of meibomian glands of bGH mice were significantly larger and those of GHA and GHR-/- mice were significantly smaller than glands of WT mice. Conclusions. Our findings support our hypothesis that the GH/IGF-1 axis plays a significant role in the control of the meibomian gland. In addition, our data show that GH modulates the morphology and size of this tissue.