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The Effect of Topical Infliximab on Corneal Neovascularization in Rabbits

Kim, Jae Woo MD; Chung, Sung Kun MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e318271cc2a
Basic Investigation
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Purpose: To determine the efficacy of topical application of infliximab [tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) monoclonal antibody] for the treatment of corneal neovascularization in the rabbit model.

Methods: In 12 rabbits (24 eyes), the corneal stroma was sutured to induce corneal neovascularization. One week after suture, corneal neovascularization was confirmed and the subjects were divided into 4 groups of 3 rabbits. Sterilized balanced salt solution was applied in the control group, and the experimental groups were treated with infliximab eye drops of varying concentrations (1, 2, and 4 mg/mL) twice daily for a week. The area of corneal neovascularization was measured and analyzed in all groups on day 3 and day 7. On day 7, all eyes were extracted to compare the TNF-α messenger RNA concentration by reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction, and the vascular endothelial growth factor activity of corneal neovascular tissue was observed by fluorescence immunostaining.

Result: On day 7, all 3 experimental groups (1, 2, and 4 mg/mL) had a significantly reduced area of corneal neovascularization compared with the control group (P = 0.043, 0.027, and 0.01, respectively) and significantly reduced TNF-α messenger RNA (P = 0.038, 0.031, and 0.022, respectively). Fluorescence immunostaining confirmed the reduced expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in all 3 experimental groups compared with the control group.

Conclusions: The application of infliximab is expected to effectively inhibit corneal neovascularization. Further clinical studies are necessary.

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.

Reprints: Sung Kun Chung, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, #62, Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul 150-713, Korea (e-mail: eyedoc@catholic.ac.kr).

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Received June 13, 2011

Accepted August 29, 2012

Copyright © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.