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Abed Namavari, Shweta Chaudhary, Jin-Hong Chang, Lisette Yco, Snehal Sonawane, Vishakha Khanolkar, Beatrice Y. Yue, Joy Sarkar, Sandeep Jain; Cyclosporine Immunomodulation Retards Regeneration of Surgically Transected Corneal Nerves. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(2):732-740. doi: 10.1167/iovs.11-8445.
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To determine whether immunomodulation with cyclosporine (CsA) affects reinnervation after surgical transection of stromal nerves.
Thy1-YFP+ neurofluorescent mice underwent lamellar corneal surgery and 3 days later, received artificial tears or CsA eye drops for 6 weeks. Serial in vivo wide-field stereofluorescent microscopy was performed to determine changes in nerve fiber density (NFD). Real-time quantitative PCR was performed to determine the expression of neurotrophins and cytokines (IL6 and TNF-α). Compartmental culture of trigeminal ganglion neurons was performed in Campenot devices to determine whether CsA directly affects neurite outgrowth.
Yellow fluorescent protein (YFP)–positive cells significantly increased at 3 and 7 days after surgery. The number of YFP-positive cells in the cornea was significantly lower in the CsA group than that in the control group. The percentage increase in NFD between 2 to 6 weeks was greater in the control group (80% ± 10%, P = 0.05) than that in the CsA group (39% ± 21%). The CsA group also exhibited lower expression of IL6 and TNF-α (P = 0.01). In compartmental culture experiments, neurite outgrowth toward side compartments containing CsA was significantly less (2.29 ± 0.4 mm, P = 0.01) than that toward side compartments containing vehicle (3.97 ± 0.71 mm).
Immunomodulation with CsA reduces the expression of cytokines (IL6) in the cornea and retards regenerative sprouting from transected corneal stromal nerve trunks. In addition, CsA has a direct growth inhibitory action on neurites as well.
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