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Development of a highly sensitive and reliable enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for MUC5AC in human tears extracted from Schirmer strips

Authors Miyake H, Mori N, Mano H, Imanaka T, Nakamura M

Received 9 April 2018

Accepted for publication 8 June 2018

Published 29 August 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 1571—1580


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Hideki Miyake, Naoto Mori, Hidetoshi Mano, Takahiro Imanaka, Masatsugu Nakamura

Research and Development Division, Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Osaka, Japan

Purpose: Reliable measurement of MUC5AC in human tears is essential for elucidation of the pathophysiological role of MUC5AC in dry eye disease. The purpose of this study was to develop a sensitive and reliable method for measurement of MUC5AC in human tear samples extracted from Schirmer strips by modifying a commercially available ELISA.
Methods: MUC5AC was extracted from Schirmer strips containing human tears by PBS with various concentrations of polysorbate 20. The extracts were treated with neuraminidase A to cleave the sialic acids in MUC5AC. An ELISA plate was blocked to prevent nonspecific binding. The rate of extraction of MUC5AC from Schirmer strips, linearity of dilution, limit of quantification, calibration range, and intra-assay and inter-assay reproducibility were examined.
Results: MUC5AC was extracted using polysorbate 20 in a concentration-dependent manner. Extraction was more efficient at 37°C than at 25°C. The signal-to-noise ratio of the assay was dramatically increased by treatment with neuraminidase A. Treatment with a blocking reagent before incubation produced good linearity of dilution. The inter-assay and intra-assay coefficients of variation were ≤16.6%. The relative error was within 13%.
Conclusion: We developed an efficient method for extraction of MUC5AC from Schirmer strips and a highly sensitive, reliable assay for MUC5AC in human tear samples using a commercially available ELISA kit. This method will aid in our understanding of the pathophysiology of dry eye, assessment of the effects of treatment in daily practice, and selection of appropriate therapeutic agents for patients.

Keywords: mucin, MUC5AC, Schirmer test, dry eye, tears, assay

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