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M. S. Cortina, J. He, N. Li, H. E. Bazan; Pedf Plus Dha Promotes Recovery of Corneal Sensitivity After Experimental Surgery. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):2856.
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In a previous study we have shown that treatment with pigment epithelial derived factor (PEDF) in association with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) after lamellar keratectomy increases the regeneration of corneal nerves. There was a three-fold increase in nerve area in the treated group compared to controls. (Cortina et al,IOVS in press) . However the functionality of the regenerated corneal nerves was unknown. The purpose of this study is to define the functionality of regenerated corneal nerves in animals treated with PEDF plus DHA.
An 8 mm corneal stromal dissection was performed in the left eyes of adult New Zealand rabbits. The treatment group received PEDF+DHA for 6 weeks. The drugs were delivered by means of 72h collagen shields that were replaced twice a week. Corneal sensation was measured with the use of a Cochet Bonnet aesthesiometer in three points within the surgery area (superior, central, and inferior). Measurements were performed weekly up to 7 weeks, and all were performed by the same examiner.
Corneal sensitivity measurements for normal rabbit eyes prior to surgery averaged 4 ±0.37 cm. At 7 weeks after surgery, the group treated with PEDF plus DHA had an average corneal sensation of 3.37 ± 0.5 cm, which represents a functional recovery of 86%. The corneal sensation for the untreated group at seven weeks was 1.6 ±1.1 cm or 46% recovery in function. The difference was statistically significant with a p=0.037.
PEDF in association with DHA promotes regeneration of damaged corneal nerves, accelerating the return of corneal sensitivity after surgery. This may have a significant impact in the treatment and prevention of severe dry eye that develops after refractive surgery.This work is supported by grant R01 EY 19465 and LSUHSC translational research award.
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