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D H Lee, S H Lee, N S Kwon, J C Kim; Light-dependent corneal toxicity in streptozocin-treated rats.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1997;38(5):995-1002.
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PURPOSE: To find the role of nitric oxide (NO) in streptozocin-induced corneal toxicity in rats. METHODS: Sprague-Dawley rats were injected intraperitoneally with streptozotocin (65 mg/kg). For exposure to light, each rat cage was placed in a box surrounded with aluminum foil and illuminated for 6 hours per day with two 20-W fluorescent lamps at a distance of 50 cm. When not exposed to light, each cage was placed in a dark room. Some animals with and without light exposure also were treated with and without streptozotocin treatment. Control animals did not receive streptozotocin and were housed in a dark room 24 hours a day. Each group contained 15 rats. After 1, 3, 7, and 10 days of light exposure, concentrations of nitrite and nitrate, stable oxidation products of NO, were measured in the aqueous humor. Corneal changes also were examined by electron microscopy after 10 days. To examine specific NO-induced histopathologic changes, several rats were injected subconjunctivally with a balanced saline solution containing the NO-generating agent (S-nitroso-N-acetyl-D,L-penicillamine or (Z)-I-[2-(2-aminoethyl)-N-(2-ammonioethyl)amino]diazen-1- ium-1, 2-diolate]). RESULTS: Concentrations of nitrite and nitrate were highest in the streptozocin-injected rats irradiated while under the fluorescent lamp. On the 10th day of the streptozotocin injection, the concentrations of nitrite and nitrate in streptozocin-treated rats irradiated while under the fluorescent lamp was almost two-and-a-half times greater than that of nontreated rats reared in the dark (111.37 +/- 7.47 microM, 45.43 +/- 3.91 microM, respectively). Slit-lamp biomicroscopy showed that the corneas swelled gradually and opacified by the third day in the irradiated streptozocin-injected group. The corneas became hazy to the point of indistinguishable detail structures by the 10th day, although those of the other rats were relatively clear at the same time. Histopathologically, ultrastructural changes included the remarkable swelling of intracytoplasmic organelles, including mitochondria, and denaturation of collagen fibril was shown in the streptozocin-injected-irradiated rats by the 10th day. The corneas injected with two NO-generating agents, S-nitroso-N-acetyl-D,L-penicillamine and (Z)-1-[2-(2-aminoethyl)-N-(2-ammonioethyl)amino]diazen-1- ium-1, 2-diolate, showed similar but more severe changes. CONCLUSIONS: Nitric oxide can cause damage to the mitochondria, the most important energy source of the cell, and induce ultrastructural damage to the corneal endothelium and fibroblast. The authors suggest that NO is associated with the development of corneal cytotoxicity and that NO production and subsequent cytotoxicity can be prevented by blocking to photoactivation.
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