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P T Khaw, S Ward, A Porter, I Grierson, R A Hitchings, N S Rice; The long-term effects of 5-fluorouracil and sodium butyrate on human Tenon's fibroblasts.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1992;33(6):2043-2052.
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The use of subconjunctival 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in the first weeks after filtration surgery may ensure long-term bleb survival despite a continuing proliferative stimulus such as in eyes with neovascular glaucoma. In addition, long-term side effects may occur, such as increasing bleb thinning. To ascertain the long-term effects of 5-FU and sodium butyrate, an agent with differentiating and antiproliferative properties, we exposed proliferating human Tenon's capsule fibroblasts to different concentrations of the drugs. The cells were exposed to 5-FU for 1-12 d. The cells were subsequently observed for up to 30 d. Cell proliferation was assessed using cell counting and bromodeoxyuridine uptake, and cell viability was assessed with trypan blue uptake. 5-FU and sodium butyrate inhibited fibroblast proliferation during the treatment period. Higher concentrations of 5-FU (100 and 1000 micrograms/ml) for as little as 1 d resulted in no significant increase in the number of fibroblasts for at least 29 d after treatment was stopped, despite continued stimulation with serum. When treatment with sodium butyrate was stopped, there was greater recovery of proliferation. At a constant concentration of 1000 micrograms/ml of 5-FU for 3 or more days, or a concentration of 100 mmol/l sodium butyrate for 12 d, the entire fibroblast population gradually died over the 30 d period. Thus, short-term treatment with 5-FU may result in long-term inhibition of proliferation of fibroblasts. Long-term inhibition depends on the duration of treatment or on the concentration of 5-FU. Short-term treatment may be affecting the ability of the tissues at the bleb site to heal in the long term. Different dosage regimens may have advantages and are discussed.
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