• Cornea/External Disease

    Review of: Hyperglycemia induces meibomian gland dysfunction

    Guo Y, Zhang H, Zhao Z, et al. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, January 2022

    Investigators trying to uncover the pathology behind the development of diabetes-induced meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) used a diabetes rat model to examine structural changes in meibomian glands and lipid distribution. The study also observed altered patterns of metabolism, inflammation, and oxidative stress.

    Study design

    A diabetic rat model was utilized. Readouts included markers of lipid staining in meibomian glands, cell proliferation, and apoptosis. The researchers also evaluated changes in several signaling pathways including oxidative stress and mitochondrial function.


    Although the diabetic rats did not develop meibomian gland dropout, they exhibited signs of meibomian gland inflammatory infiltration. Some changes were partially reversed with metformin treatment.


    This study was performed in lab animals, and its results may not be applicable to human subjects.

    Clinical significance

    This basic research shows how hyperglycemia leads to MGD, and how metformin may be a potential novel treatment for diabetes-induced meibomian gland dysfunction.