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Seth Epstein, Neha Gadaria-Rathod, Karen Fernandez, Penny Asbell; Efficacy Studies of Histatin for Corneal Wound Healing Utilizing a Rabbit Model. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):3902.
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Histatins are naturally occurring oral peptides produced by humans and non-human primates that demonstrate direct anti-infective activity, potent anti-inflammatory properties, and stimulate epithelial wound healing in several tissue and organ culture systems. Isolation of histatin and its topical use for corneal wound healing has suggested the potential for significantly accelerated wound healing. To evaluate and quantify this potential, the effect of histatin on the ocular surface of New Zealand White rabbits was evaluated in a randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled study.
Eight (8) mm circular, central corneal epithelial defects were created in the right eye of 12 rabbits. Rabbits were subsequently randomized into 3 treatment groups, with 4 animals in each group: “10”: 10ug/ml histatin; “0.1”: 0.10 ug/ml histatin; “Veh”: vehicle control (excipient without active agent). Each group was treated with the respective dose 3 times per day until complete healing of the epithelium occurred. All investigators were masked to the therapeutic treatment given to the rabbits. Periodic evaluation of corneal wound healing was performed twice daily by fluorescein staining and slit lamp biomicrophotography with subsequent computerized area determination of the size of the defect. Statistical analysis was done to determine differences in healing rates between the groups.
Rabbits treated with 10 ug/ml histatin resolved by 48 hours post wounding, while those treated with 0.10 ug/ml histatin resolved by 54 hours and those treated with vehicle did not resolve until 72 hours. Wound areas at 48 hours: 10: 0.035 ± 0.071 mm2; 0.1: 2.664 ± 3.083 mm2; Veh: 13.599 ± 20.183 mm2. Mean healing rate in the active groups were higher than the vehicle control..
This study demonstrates the potential role of histatin in wound healing and supports the further evaluation of the efficacy of histatin for corneal wound healing and exploration of its benefits in a variety of traumatic, infectious and other ocular surface disorders.
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