Dry eye disease is one of the most prevalent ophthalmic conditions affecting individuals over the age of 45 years, with over 12 million Americans suffering from dry eye. In addition, dry eye disease is two to three times more common in women, particularly as they age. There has been significant speculation and controversy that the normal sex hormone changes occurring during menopause increase the risk of dry eye disease in women. We propose to examine the association between three components relevant to the dry eye disease process: meibomian gland structure, output (lipid profile), and function (tear film stability). As postmenopausal women are at risk for dry eye disease, we propose to conduct a cross-sectional study of 434 age-matched postmenopausal women with and without dry eye disease with the following Specific Aims: 1. To test the hypothesis that postmenopausal women with dry eye have abnormal lipid molecular profiles using electro spray time-of-flight mass spectrometry, 2. To test the hypothesis that dry eye in post menopause is associated with increased tear film thinning rates measured with wavelength-dependent interferometry, and therefore, decreased tear film stability and 3. To test the hypothesis that anatomical gland changes indicative of previous and/or active disease can be seen with higher frequency in postmenopausal women with dry eye (Infrared video meibography and detailed classification and grading of meibomian gland disease. The long term goals of this research are to gain insight to the etiology of dry eye disease in women, which may yield potential avenues for therapeutic development. In addition, increased understanding of the disorder and appropriate management will increase patient quality of life and decrease the economic burden due to this chronic disorder. The National Eye Institute's National Plan for Eye and Vision Research has identified a need for clinical and basic research in the area of lachrymal gland and tear film physiology. Specifically stated, """"""""With respect to the goal of translating discoveries into the prevention and treatment of ocular surface disorders: (the Institution promotes research to) gain an understanding of the epidemiology of and risk factors for infectious and inflammatory corneal and ocular surface diseases to develop preventive strategies."""""""" This project is a unique blend of interdisciplinary clinical and basic research, which may lead to the translation of findings to clinical care in dry eye disease. ? ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Anterior Eye Disease Study Section (AED)
Program Officer
Kurinij, Natalie
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Ohio State University
Schools of Optometry/Ophthalmol
United States
Zip Code
Ziemanski, Jillian F; Wolters, Lynn R; Jones-Jordan, Lisa et al. (2018) Relation Between Dietary Essential Fatty Acid Intake and Dry Eye Disease and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction in Postmenopausal Women. Am J Ophthalmol 189:29-40
Chen, Jianzhong; Keirsey, Jeremy K; Green, Kari B et al. (2017) Expression Profiling of Nonpolar Lipids in Meibum From Patients With Dry Eye: A Pilot Study. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 58:2266-2274
Ablamowicz, Anna F; Nichols, Jason J; Nichols, Kelly K (2016) Association Between Serum Levels of Testosterone and Estradiol With Meibomian Gland Assessments in Postmenopausal Women. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 57:295-300
Chen, Jianzhong; Green, Kari B; Nichols, Kelly K (2016) Compositional Analysis of Wax Esters in Human Meibomian Gland Secretions by Direct Infusion Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry. Lipids 51:1269-1287
Cox, Stephanie M; Nichols, Kelly K; Nichols, Jason J (2015) Agreement between Automated and Traditional Measures of Tear Film Breakup. Optom Vis Sci 92:e257-63
Chen, Jianzhong; Green, Kari B; Nichols, Kelly K (2015) Characterization of Wax Esters by Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry: Double Bond Effect and Unusual Product Ions. Lipids 50:821-36
Chen, Jianzhong; Green, Kari B; Nichols, Kelly K (2013) Quantitative profiling of major neutral lipid classes in human meibum by direct infusion electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 54:5730-53
Narayanan, Srihari; Redfern, Rachel L; Miller, William L et al. (2013) Dry eye disease and microbial keratitis: is there a connection? Ocul Surf 11:75-92
King-Smith, P Ewen; Reuter, Kathleen S; Braun, Richard J et al. (2013) Tear film breakup and structure studied by simultaneous video recording of fluorescence and tear film lipid layer images. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 54:4900-9
Powell, Daniel R; Nichols, Jason J; Nichols, Kelly K (2012) Inter-examiner reliability in meibomian gland dysfunction assessment. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 53:3120-5

Showing the most recent 10 out of 24 publications