Patients with Sjӧgren’s syndrome (SS) have dry eye associated with meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). The meibum from donors with dry eye due to MGD but without SS (M) presents with lower levels of cholesteryl ester, more straight chain and more ordered hydrocarbon chains compared with meibum from donors without MGD (Mn). The aim of the current study was to compare the composition and hydrocarbon chain conformation of meibum from donors with Sjögren’s syndrome (Mss) to Mn and M. Meibum was expressed from patients with SS using an ILUX instrument (Alcon Inc., Fort Worth TX). All of the nine meibum donors with SS were female. Meibum composition was characterized using H-NMR and meibum hydrocarbon chain conformation was measured using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Meibum from every donor with SS measured contained a significantly (P  0.05, for Mss compared with Mn. Nor was the CH/CH band height ratio used to estimate the number of hydrocarbon CH and CH moieties different, P = 0.22, for Mss compared with Mn. In conclusion, the compositional differences between Mss compared with Mn did not result in differences in any of the nine meibum lipid phase transitional parameters measured. The compositional differences observed between Mss and Mn could be markers for or contribute to SS as the differences could lead to tear film lipid packing differences other than conformational differences.
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