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Abstract

Irradiation of the cornea with UVB rays leads to its oxidative damage, swelling and increased light absorption. We investigated changes in the corneal optics (evaluated by changes of corneal hydration and light absorption) and microscopical disturbances of corneas irradiated with UVB rays as influenced by eye drops containing actinoquinol with hyaluronic acid. Rabbit corneas were irradiated with a daily dose of 0.5 or 1.01 J cm−2 of UVB rays (312 nm) for 4 days. During irradiation, the eye drops were applied on the right eye and buffered saline (or hyaluronic acid) on the left eye. On day 5 the rabbits were sacrificed and the corneas examined spectrophotometrically for light absorption. The corneal thickness (hydration) was measured using a pachymeter. Corneas of some other rabbits were examined immunohistochemically. After buffered saline treatment UVB rays evoked changes in the corneal optics and induced oxidative damage of the corneas. After actinoquinol-hyaluronic acid application, these changes were diminished. Hyaluronic acid alone was less effective. In conclusion, actinoquinol-hyaluronic acid eye drops decreased changes in corneal optics and suppressed oxidative damage in the UVB-irradiated cornea. However, the effective corneal protection by these eye drops was limited to the lower UVB dose.