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Effectiveness of Topical Infliximab in a Mouse Model of Experimental Dry Eye

Li, Zhengri MD; Choi, Won MD; Oh, Han-Jin MD; Yoon, Kyung Chul MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e31826a80ea

Purpose: To investigate the efficacy of a topical anti–tumor necrosis factor-α agent, infliximab, in a mouse model of experimental dry eye (EDE).

Methods: EDE was induced in C57BL/6 mice, with or without topical treatment consisting of balanced salt solution or 0.001%, 0.01%, or 0.1% infliximab solutions. Tear volume and corneal smoothness were measured on days 5 and 10 after treatment. Levels of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-17, and interferon γ (IFN-γ) were measured in the conjunctiva using a multiplex immunobead assay 10 days after treatment. Periodic acid-Schiff staining, immunohistochemistry, and flow cytometry were also performed 10 days after treatment.

Results: Mice treated with 0.01% or 0.1% infliximab showed a significant improvement in tear volume and corneal smoothness compared with controls. The 0.01% and 0.1% infliximab-treated groups showed decreased levels of conjunctival IL-1β, IL-6, IL-17, and interferon γ and a decreased staining intensity of tumor necrosis factor-α. The density of conjunctival goblet cells was higher, whereas the number of CD4+CXCR3+ T cells was lower, in the 0.01% and 0.1% infliximab-treated groups compared with the EDE and balanced salt solution control groups. However, there was no significant difference in all parameters between the 0.001% infliximab-treated group and control group.

Conclusions: Topical application of infliximab can improve tear production and ocular surface irregularity, decrease inflammatory cytokines and cells on the ocular surface, and increase conjunctival goblet cell density. These results suggest that topical infliximab eye drops at a concentration of 0.01% and 0.1% may be useful for the treatment of dry eye disease.

Department of Ophthalmology and Research Institute of Medical Sciences, the Brain Korea 21 Project, Chonnam National University Medical School and Hospital, Gwangju, Korea.

Reprints: Kyung Chul Yoon, Department of Ophthalmology, Chonnam National University Hospital, 8 Hakdong, Donggu, Gwangju 501-757, South Korea (e-mail:

Supported by a grant (CRI11076-21) from Chonnam National University Hospital Research Institute of Clinical Medicine.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Copyright © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.