Identification of Lacrimal Gland Postganglionic Innervation and Its Regulation of Tear Secretion

Kai Jin, Toshihiro Imada, Ryuji Hisamura, Masataka Ito, Haruki Toriumi, Kenji F. Tanaka, Shigeru Nakamura, Kazuo Tsubota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Tear fluid secreted from the exocrine lacrimal gland (LG) has an essential role in maintaining a homeostatic environment for a healthy ocular surface. Tear secretion is regulated by the sympathetic and parasympathetic components of the autonomic nervous system, although the contribution of each component is not fully understood. To investigate LG innervation, we identified sympathetic and parasympathetic postganglionic nerves, specifically innervating the mouse LG, by injecting a retrograde neuronal tracer into the LG. Interruption of neural stimuli to the LG by the denervation of these postganglionic nerves immediately and chronically decreased tear secretion, leading to LG atrophy along with destruction of the lobular structure. This investigation also found that parasympathetic, but not sympathetic, innervation was involved in these alterations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1068-1079
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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