International Ophthalmology

, Volume 39, Issue 10, pp 2283–2294 | Cite as

Mechanism of interaction between ocular and nasal neurogenic inflammation in allergic rhinoconjunctivitis

  • Xiao-Wei Gao
  • Xiao-Min ZhangEmail author
  • Hai-Yan Liu
  • Shan-Shan Wang
  • Hua-Jiang Dong
Original Paper



The mechanisms of naso-ocular interaction in allergic rhinoconjunctivitis are not well understood. Neurogenic inflammation affects both eyes and nose via the same neurogenic factors. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of neurogenic inflammation on conjunctival inflammation following nasal allergen provocation.


Sensitized rats were exposed to ovalbumin (OVA) via the nose. Parts of the nasal mucosa and conjunctivae were sliced and used for hematoxylin–eosin staining, immunohistochemical analysis, western blotting, and real-time polymerase chain reaction. The slides were observed under a light microscope, and the acquired images were analyzed. The levels of substance P (SP), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), and nerve growth factor (NGF) were detected.


The levels of SP, VIP, and NGF were increased in both nasal mucosa and conjunctivae 1 h and 24 h after OVA administration (p < 0.05). Higher levels of SP, VIP, and NGF expression were observed in the nasal mucosa and conjunctivae 24 h after OVA administration (p < 0.05). Following damage of the nasal sensory nerves by capsaicin, the protein and mRNA levels of SP, VIP, and NGF were reduced.


In conclusion, the increased levels of VIP, SP, and NGF might be responsible for the ocular reaction following nasal challenge with allergen in rats.


Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis Conjunctiva Nerve growth factor Substance P Vasoactive intestinal peptide 



We thank Dr. Hong Zhang for her expert assistance. We would also like to thank teacher Yue Ming Wang for his advice and help with the animal experiment. This study was supported by animal laboratory of Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin, China.


No funding was required for this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interests.

Ethical approval

All procedures were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of Tianjin Medical University and conducted in accordance with the National Institutes of Health Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

Human and animal rights

All the ethical standards for animal handling and experimentation were followed in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tianjin Medical University Eye Institute and Tianjin Medical University School of Optometry and OphthalmologyTianjin Medical University Eye HospitalTianjinChina
  2. 2.Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck SurgerySecond Hospital of Tianjin Medical UniversityTianjinChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Precision Measurement Technology and InstrumentsTianjin UniversityTianjinChina

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