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A. Heiligenhaus, H. Li, S. Wasmuth, D. Bauer; Fumaric Acid Ester Stimulates T Helper 2 Cytokine Responses and Improves Experimental HSV-1 Keratitis . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):4752.
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Purpose: Fumaric acid esters have proved to stimulate T helper 2 cytokine responses while the T helper 1 cytokine response is unaffected. This study was performed to investigate their influence on the course of herpes stromal keratitis (HSK). Methods: The corneas of BALB/c mice were inoculated with 105 PFU of HSV-1 (KOS strain). Groups of mice were treated systemically with vehicle (group 1), or with dimethylfumarate (DMF): for 28 days pre-infection (group 2), for 14 days post-infection (group 3), or pre- and post-infection (group 4). The course of HSV-1 keratitis was studied clinically and histologically. The eyes were tested for virus replication by standard plaque assay. The DTH response was determined, and the HSV-1 specific proliferative response of cells from regional lymph-nodes and spleens was measured. Results: On day 14 after HSV infection, 72% of the mice in group 1 (n=14) had severe stromal keratitis. The development of stromal keratitis was reduced by DMF treatment in group 2 (35,2%, n=17), in group 3 (35%, n=20) and in group 4 (22%, n=19). Virus clearance and DTH were not influenced by DMF injections. The DMF treated mice had slightly decreased HSV-1 specific proliferative responses. Conclusions: The data suggest that the course of herpes stromal keratitis can be improved with fumaric acid esters that augment T helper 2 cytokine production.
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