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Natasha Babar, MiJung Kim, Kerry Cao, Yukari Shimizu, Su-Young Kim, Anna Takaoka, Stephen L. Trokel, David C. Paik; Cosmetic Preservatives as Therapeutic Corneal and Scleral Tissue Cross-Linking Agents. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(2):1274-1282. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-16035.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Previously, aliphatic β-nitroalcohols (BNAs) have been studied as a means to chemically induce tissue cross-linking (TXL) of cornea and sclera. There are a number of related and possibly more potent agents, known as formaldehyde releasers (FARs), that are in commercial use as preservatives in cosmetics and other personal care products. The present study was undertaken in order to screen such compounds for potential clinical utility as therapeutic TXL agents.
A chemical registry of 62 FARs was created from a literature review and included characteristics relevant to TXL such as molecular weight, carcinogenicity/mutagenicity, toxicity, hydrophobicity, and commercial availability. From this registry, five compounds [diazolidinyl urea (DAU), imidazolidinyl urea (IMU), sodium hydroxymethylglycinate (SMG), DMDM hydantoin (DMDM), 5-Ethyl-3,7-dioxa-1-azabicyclo [3.3.0] octane (OCT)] were selected for efficacy screening using two independent systems, an ex vivo rabbit corneal cross-linking simulation setup and incubation of cut scleral tissue pieces. Treatments were conducted at pH 7.4 or 8.5 for 30 minutes. Efficacy was evaluated using thermal denaturation temperature (Tm), and cell toxicity was studied using the trypan blue exclusion method.
Cross-linking effects in the five selected FARs were pH and concentration dependent. Overall, the Tm shifts were in agreement with both cornea and sclera. By comparison with BNAs previously reported upon, the FARs identified in this study were significantly more potent but with similar or better cytotoxicity.
The FARs, a class of compounds well known to the cosmetic industry, may have utility as therapeutic TXL agents. The compounds studied thus far show promise and will be further tested.
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