Purpose: In this study, we investigated the wound-healing process after photorefractive keratectomy with mitomycin C (MMC) in hen corneas. In addition, we evaluated the synergistic effect of ethanol and MMC.
Methods: Forty-eight adult hens were divided into 3 groups: A: ethanol-assisted debridement plus MMC; B: mechanical debridement plus MMC; and C: mechanical debridement (MMC-untreated control). Photorefractive keratectomy was performed, and the animals were followed up for up to 60 days. Epithelial healing was measured with fluorescein. Apoptosis was evaluated by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end-labeling assay and proliferation was measured by BrdU incorporation. Both myofibroblast differentiation and collagen deposition were evaluated by immunofluorescence and histology.
Results: Epithelial wound closure was similar in all 3 groups (P > 0.05). Significant reduction in haze was observed in groups A and B compared with C (P < 0.01), but there was no difference between groups A and B (P > 0.05). Furthermore, there was no difference in the number of apoptotic cells between groups. Proliferation was delayed in both groups A and B compared with C (P < 0.01), but groups A and B did not differ significantly (P > 0.05). Myofibroblasts, cellular density, and collagen deposition were lower in both groups A and B compared with C (P < 0.01), but they were not significantly different from each other (P > 0.05).
Conclusions: Topical application of MMC in hen corneas reproduces the wound healing observed in humans by reducing haze, keratocyte proliferation, myofibroblast differentiation, and new collagen deposition. Synergistic cytotoxic effects of ethanol and MMC were not observed.