Tissue-specific androgen responses in primary cultures of lacrimal epithelial cells studied by adenoviral gene transfer

Hilde Vanaken, Robert D. Gerard, Guy Verrijdt, Annemie Haelens, Wilfried Rombauts, Frank Claessens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The lacrimal gland secretes most of the water and many proteins present in tear fluid. The composition of the tear fluid is affected dramatically by androgens, an observation which has been linked to the fact that more than 90% of the patients with Sjögren syndrome are female. Although the presence of androgen receptors in the lacrimal gland has been established, the molecular biology of the protective effects of androgens remains largely unknown. Here, we report the use of primary cultures of the lacrimal gland which express endogenous proteins under androgen control, as a more homologous test system for tissue-specific transcription studies. Infection with recombinant adenoviral vectors was the most efficient method to introduce foreign gene constructs in these cultures. A thus introduced mouse mammary tumor virus promoter was inducible with androgens and this effect was independent of the sexual genotype of the infected cells. By use of two recombinant adenoviral vectors containing genomic fragments of the SC gene, which is androgen responsive in the lacrimal gland, we could demonstrate the functionality of the sc promoter as well as its androgen regulation in this culture system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-328
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Androgens
  • Lacrimal gland
  • Recombinant adenovirus vector
  • Secretory component

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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