Efficacy of early systemic betamethasone or cyclosporin A after corneal alkali injury via inflammatory cytokine reduction


Seika Den MD
Department of Ophthalmology
Osaka Medical College
2-7 Daigakumachi
Osaka 569-8686
Tel: + 81 72 683 1221
Fax: + 81 72 681 8195
Email: seika@yacht.ocn.ne.jp


Purpose:  To evaluate the effects of early systemic administration of betamethasone or cyclosporin A (CsA) on inflammatory cytokine expression and corneal damage after alkali injury.

Methods:  Sixty-five Wistar rat corneas injured with 1N NaOH were divided into three groups: untreated, betamethasone-treated and CsA-treated. Both agents were administered systemically and daily during the first 7 days after injury. Interleukin (IL)-1α, -6 and -8 concentrations in the injured corneas were measured with ELISA at 2, 4 and 7 days after injury. Corneal damage was evaluated by scoring clinical findings.

Results:  In untreated injured corneas, IL-1α, -6 and -8 were markedly elevated during the 7-day period following injury. Both betamethasone and CsA significantly suppressed IL-1α and IL-8 at day 4. Only betamethasone significantly suppressed IL-6 at days 4 and 7. Both agents significantly reduced corneal opacity at day 4.

Conclusion:  Early systemic administration of betamethasone or CsA after alkali injury may be of benefit by suppressing inflammatory cytokine expression in the cornea.