The National Eye Institute estimate that it affects nearly 5 million people in the U.S. In the most severe cases, dry eye disease causes significant eye pain and sensitivity to light, and it can compromise an individual's overall quality of life.
In earlier work, Dr. Jain and colleagues uncovered new factors that appear to help drive severe cases of dry eye disease.
In the case of dry eye disease, NETs appear to trigger the production of autoantibodies — antibodies that target the body's own proteins.
The authors believe that these autoantibodies might play a role in the inflammation that exacerbates dry eye disease and makes it so difficult to treat in some cases.
With this in mind, the authors produced eye drops containing antibodies that target ACPAs. If they could remove ACPAs in this way, they thought that they might be able to relieve dry eye disease.