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Time-dependent degenerative transformations in the lipidome of chalazia

Experimental Eye Research
DOI: 10.1016/j.exer.2014.08.008
  • Chalazion
  • Lipidomics
  • Cholesterol
  • Inflammation
  • Meibomian Gland
  • Hplc
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Statins
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract The aim of this prospective study was to conduct histopathologic and lipidomic analyses of chalazia, in order to evaluate time-dependent changes in the lesion. Samples of surgically excised chalazia were collected over a period of 12 months from 10 patients (mean age 41 years; range, 23–58) with clinically diagnosed chalazia, who underwent scheduled surgery. The ages of chalazia varied from 2 to 28 weeks. To confirm the clinical diagnoses, the morphology of collected tissue samples was evaluated histologically after hematoxylin and eosin staining. The lipids from individual chalazia were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and compared with authentic lipid standards and with the lipids of meibum collected from normal controls. We observed gradual, lesion age-dependent transformation of the lipidome of chalazia from an almost normal meibum-like composition to a very different kind of lipidome. A rapid initial increase in the free cholesterol content was followed by a gradual replacement of extremely long chain meibomian-type lipids with a mixture of shorter-chain cholesteryl esters of the C14–C18 family, triacylglycerols, ceramides, phospholipids and sphingomyelins. In addition, a rapid disappearance of wax esters and cholesteryl esters of (1-O)-acyl-omega-hydroxy fatty acids from the lipidome of aging chalazia was observed. Our results are indicative of dramatic, time-dependent changes in the lesion that may involve cholesterol as a trigger and/or a marker of subsequent degeneration of the meibomian lipidome. We hypothesize that early inhibition of these transformations may be useful in reversing the course of the disease.

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