Analysis of rabbit tear fluid using capillary electrophoresis with UV or laser-induced fluorescence detection.

R. J. Varnell, D. Y. Maitchouk, R. W. Beuerman, M. F. Salvatore, J. E. Carlton, A. M. Haag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In preliminary studies of the development of tear analysis methodology that may eventually be useful in the clinical setting, the authors evaluated various protocols for analyzing rabbit tears by capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE). Conditions included the use of a 50-mM monosodium phosphate buffer, pH 2.5, or a 400-mM sodium borate buffer, pH 8.9, both with ultraviolet (UV) detection, as well as a 50-mM borate buffer, pH 8.5, with laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) detection of ATTO-TAG CBQ (Molecular Probes, Inc., Eugene, OR, U.S.A.) derivatized tears. All CZE analyses were performed with a P/ACE System 2100 instrument equipped with System Gold software (Beckman Instruments, Fullerton, CA, U.S.A.), using a 50 microns x 57 cm (50 cm to the window) fused-silica capillary, at 25 degrees C, with constant voltage of 20 kV for UV detection and 11 kV for LIF detection. Tear samples were collected from normal rabbit eyes by means of 10-microL glass micropipets. The volume of each sample was approximately 2 microL. Analysis using the phosphate buffer with UV detection produced as many as 35 peaks in each sample, of which 11 peaks were readily discerned. This compared favorably with sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis, which produced 32 bands with silver staining and 11 quantifiable bands with Coomassie brilliant blue staining. Many of the tear protein components have yet to be identified. CZE analysis with the high-ionic-strength borate buffer with UV detection produced only four peaks, and the low-ionic-strength borate buffer with LIF detection produced only six peaks. CZE analysis was completed in less than 1 hr, compared with 7-8 hr for SDS-PAGE. In summary, CZE analysis of tear fluid is comparable to CZE analysis of other bodily fluids and shows great potential for use in clinical diagnosis as well as for enhancing our understanding of the cellular actions of tears on the front of the eye.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of capillary electrophoresis
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997


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