To investigate the effects of an eye wash solution on the ocular surface damage induced by airborne carbon black (CB) exposure.
Sprague–Dawley rats were exposed to ambient CB for 5 days. During the 5 days, a commercial eye wash solution (Eyebon-W) was used for irrigation twice daily on CB-exposed rat eyes; normal saline was used as the vehicle control. Lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) activity and matrix metallopeptidase (MMP)-9, histamine, and lactoferrin levels were measured in tears. The expression of inflammatory cytokines in the anterior segment of the eyeball was measured by Western blot analysis.
The ocular surface staining scores, tear LDH activity, tear MMP-9, histamine, and lactoferrin concentrations, and the expression of interleukin-4 and interferon-γ in the eye were significantly increased in the CB group versus the normal control group. When compared with CB group, the Eyebon-W eye wash treatment significantly reversed these elevations induced by CB, including ocular staining scores, tear LDH activity, histamine and MMP-9 concentrations in the tear fluid, and the expression of interleukin-4 in the eye. On the other hand, saline irrigation only reduced the concentrations of histamine and MMP-9 in tear fluid and the expression of interferon-γ in the eye.
Both Eyebon-W eye wash treatment and saline irrigation reversed CB-induced ocular surface injury, but the efficacy of Eyebon-W was more significant than that of the saline solution when compared with CB group. The use of an eye wash solution seems to play a protective role for the ocular surface when exposed to airborne particulate matter.