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   Table of Contents      
Year : 1978  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 1-4

Immunoglobulin E in human tears and aqueous humour

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Maulana Azad Medical College, Govind Ballabh Pant Hospitals and Guru Nanak Eye Centre, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Bacteriology, Maulana Azad Medical College, Govind Ballabh Pant Hospitals and Guru Nanak Eye Centre, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
D K Sen
Department of Ophthalmology, Maulana Azad Medical College, Govind Ballabh Pant Hospitals and Guru Nanak Eye Centre, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 721233

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How to cite this article:
Sen D K, Sarin G S, Saha K. Immunoglobulin E in human tears and aqueous humour. Indian J Ophthalmol 1978;26:1-4

How to cite this URL:
Sen D K, Sarin G S, Saha K. Immunoglobulin E in human tears and aqueous humour. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1978 [cited 2023 Dec 11];26:1-4. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/ijo/pages/default.aspx/text.asp?1978/26/2/1/31462

Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is a unique class of immunoglobulins present in the circulating plasma in extremely low concentration. This new class of immunoglobulin is responsible for homocytotropic or reaginic antibody activity in serum[20]. It has been demonstrated to be capable of mediating atopic type of hypersen­sitivity reactions in man and its high level has been associated with parasitic infestations[ 10] . Many workers have suggested that IgE is also synthesized locally near the mucous membrane surfaces.[5],[9],[19]

The physiological or immunologic role of IgE in ocular fluids is still uncertain. However, with the increased understanding of IgE, it is hoped that the quantitative determination of this immunoglobulin in tears and aqueous humour may be of value to the clinicians to define the presence of type I hypersensitivity component in corneal, conjunctival and uveal inflammations due to allergic, toxic, infective or combined etiology.

If the estimation of IgE in tears and aqueous humour is to serve as a diagnostic tool it is important to initially estimate their levels in normal individuals of a given population to serve as control. However, aqueous humour samples were collected for this purpose from eyes with senile cataractous changes for the reasons described in an earlier report.[18]

  Material and Methods Top

Tears were collected from 31 patients without any ocular or systemic diseases. The mode of selection of the subjects and the method of collection of tear samples have been described earlier.[17] The age range was 7 to 75 years with a mean 29.7±20.5. There were 17 males with mean age 34.5=21.8 and 14 females with mean age 23.9±17.9 years. Aqueous humour samples were collected from 23 persons who were about to be operated for senile cataract. All the cases were otherwise healthy both systemically and on local examination. The age range was 40 to 70 years (mean 55.3±6.3). There were 13 males with mean age 55.5_36 and 10 females with mean age 57.4 -8.2. Ten cases showed early senile cataractous changes and thirteen cases were of nearly mature senile cataracts. Mode of selection of the cases and the method of collec­tion of aqueous have been described previously.[18] In every case blood count was done to rule out eosinophilia and repeated stool examination for ova, cysts and parasites were carried out to rule out any infestations. All the samples were stored at -20' centigrade until analysed.

IgE levels in neat ocular fluids samples were esti­mated in duplicate by employing the single radial radioimmunodiffusion technique.[14] Reference IgE stan­dards, and antisheep IgG and antihuman IgE were obtained commercially from Meloy Laboratories, Virginia, U.S.A. Lowest concentration of reference IgE was further diluted 2, 10 and 20 times. 131 I was obtained from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Bombay. Antisheep IgG antiserum was bound and coupled with 131.1 and separated from unbound 1311 by using Sephadex G-50 column chromatography[8]. Kodak fast X-ray (Morlite occlusal 2.25"x3") films were used for autoradiography. A 10 lambda Hamilton syringe was used to deliver the samples as well as standards in the well of agar plates. A precision optical magnifier was used for measuring the ring diameters. The concentration of the reference standard IgE were plotted against their respective ring diameters on a semilog paper. The concentration of IgE detected was expressed in International Units (LU.). One I.U. is equivalent to approximately 2.4 ng of IgE[3]

  Results Top

The minimum sensitivity of the standard curve was found to be 20 LU./ml. IgE was found in measurable amounts in all the samples of tear and aqueous humour. I he mean level in tears was 282.2±189.2 LU./ml (range 25 to 780 LU./ml). There was no statistically signi­ficant difference (P<0.10) between tear IgE levels in males 338.7±219.5 LU./ml) and that in females (217.0=131.2 LU./ml) [Figure - 1]. The distribution of tear IgE level in different age groups is shown in [Figure - 2]. IgE level in the age group less than 14 years was 314.0=225.9 LU./ ml ; 15 to 49 years was 337.3±170.8 LU./ml. Statistically significant difference was obtained between the age group 15 to 49 years and over 50 years (P<0.02).

The mean IgE level in aqueous humour was 414.8= 119.6 I.U./ml (range 200 to 600 I.U./ ml). There was again no statistically significant difference (P<0.9) between the aqueous humour IgE level in males (412.3=137.2 LU / ml) and that in females (418.0±99.2 I.U./ml) [Figure - 3]. The concentration of IgE in the age group 40-55 years (11 cases) was 433.5=105.3 LU./ml (range 200 to 600 I.U./ml) and in the age group 56 and above (12 cases) was 389.1= 118.0 I.U./ml (range 200 to 580 LU./ml). The difference in the IgE concentration between the two age group is not significant statistically (P<0.30). IgE level in early senile cataractous cases was 410.0+123.3 I.U./ml and that in nearly mature senile cataractous cases was 383.3+121.2I.U./ml [Figure - 4]. On statistical evaluation no significant difference was found between these two groups (P<0.60).

  Discussion Top

Very little work has been done to establish the concentration of IgE in tears and there has been no study to the best of our knowledge that demonstrated the presence of IgE in aqueous humour. Brauninger and Centifanto[4] demonstrated the presence of IgE in tears in traces by a specific radio-immuno­diffusion procedure. Mc Clellan et al[11] reported the detection and measurement of IgE in tears of 22 Navajo children by Salmon's technique[16]. The arithmetic average of their value was 250 ng/ml (range 60-700 ng/ml).

Allansmith et a [1] determined the IgE level (mean value 61 ng/ml) in tears of 10 normal subjects aged 15 to 53 years using the radio-immunosorbent technique. Our mean tear IgE level was 282.2 I.U./mI appear to be higher as compared to others[1],[4],[11]. This difference in tear immunoglobulin E levels in normal Indian and American may be multifac­torial in origin. Higher values in the serum IgE levels in normal Indian subjects[15] as compared to values in Western countries[3] have been attributed to the genetic[7], environmental[6] or racial[13] factors. According to Nye et all[12]- in adults most investigators have recorded a slight but non significant decrease in 19E levels in serum with increasing age. In this study on tear samples we have observed a significant decrease in IgE levels in adults with advancing age.

The IgE level in the normal aqueous humour (414.8 I.U./ml) was significantly higher than that in normal tears (282.2 I.U./ml) (P<0.01)

The difference might point out the difference of their origin and mode of synthesis.

  Summary Top

The immunoglobulin E concentration in 31 tear samples from healthy individuals aged 7 to 75 years and 23 aqueous humour samples from cataractous patients aged 40 to 70 years were measured by single radial radioimmunodiffu­sion technique. It was measurable in all the samples. The average concentration in tears was 282.2 I.U./ml and that in aqueous humour was 414.8 I.U./ml. There was no significant difference in IgE levels in tears and aqueous humour between the two sexes. Decrease in IgE concentrations in tears with advancing age was significant.

  Acknowledgements Top

We thank Major S. U. Anjaria of the Department of Radiation Pathology, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, New Delhi for his kind help in this study.

  References Top

Allansmith, M.R., Hahn, G.S., and Simon, M.A. Amer J. Ophth., 81,506.  Back to cited text no. 1
Arbesman, C.E., ]to, K., Wypych, J.1., and Wicher, N., 1972, Allergy and Clini Immunol., 49,72.  Back to cited text no. 2
Baer, H., 1974, Med. Clinics Noth. Amer., 58,85.   Back to cited text no. 3
Brauninger, G. E. and Centifanto, Y.M., 1971, Amer J. Ophth., 72,558.  Back to cited text no. 4
Deuschl, H. and Johansson, S G.O., 1974, Clini Exptl. lmmunol., 16,401.  Back to cited text no. 5
Grove, D. I., Burston, T.O., and Forbes, I. J. 1974, Clinic. Allergy, 4,295.  Back to cited text no. 6
Grundbacher, F. J., 1975, J. Allergy and Clinical Immuno., 56,104.  Back to cited text no. 7
Hunter, W. M., 1967, Handbook of Exptl. Immunology, Blackwell Scientific Publication, Oxford, 608.  Back to cited text no. 8
Ishizaka, K., 1971, In small, P.A. and Kaufman, H.E. (eds.) Site of synthesis and function of IgE in secretory Immunologic system, Washington DC, Govt. Printing Office, 71.  Back to cited text no. 9
Ishizaka, T., Urban, J., Takatsu, K. and Ishizaka, K., 1976, J. Allergy and Clinical Immunol. 58,523.  Back to cited text no. 10
Mc Clellan, B. H., Whitney, C. R., Newman, L. P. and Allansmith, M.R., 1973, Amer J. Ophth. 76,89.  Back to cited text no. 11
Nye, L., Merrett, T.G., Landon, J. and White, R J., 1975, Clinical Allergy, 5,13.  Back to cited text no. 12
Orgel, H.A., Lenoir, M.A. and Bazaral, M., 1974, J. Allergy and Clinical Immunol., 53,13.  Back to cited text no. 13
Rowe, D.S., 1969, Bulletin of World Health Orgn., 40,613.  Back to cited text no. 14
Saha, K., Kulpati, D.D., Padmini, R., Shivpuri, D.N. and Shali, P. L., 1975, Clinical Allergy, 5,339.  Back to cited text no. 15
Salmon, S.E. and Smyth, B.A., 1970, J. Immu­nol, 104,665.  Back to cited text no. 16
Sen, D.K., Sarin, G.S., Mani, K. and Saha, K., 1976, Brit. J. Ophth. 60,302.  Back to cited text no. 17
Sen, D.K., Sarin, G.S. and Saha, K., 1977, Brit. J. Ophth. 61,216.  Back to cited text no. 18
Waldman, R.H., Virchow, O. and Rowe, D.S., 1973, Int. Arch. Allergy and Applied Immunol. 44,242.  Back to cited text no. 19
Winters, W.D. and Heiner, D.C., 1976, J. Allergy and Clinical Immunol., 57,181.  Back to cited text no. 20


  [Figure - 1], [Figure - 2], [Figure - 3], [Figure - 4]


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