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Cheng Zhang, Jing Yang, Davis Anugo, Brian O'Rourke, David Sharp, Shi-you Zhou, Roy S Chuck; A novel therapeutic approach for treating corneal alkaline burn injury by targeting Fidgetin-like 2, a microtubule regulator. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):3230. doi: https://doi.org/.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Corneal chemical burn is one of the most common causes of eye injury. Especially alkaline burn, which is more devastating than acid burn or a traumatic corneal injury in terms of management and prognosis. It may cause corneal ulcers and scarring which can lead to corneal perforation, neovascularization, visual loss. There is no effective treatment other than corneal transplantation for severe corneal alkaline injury. It is very challenging in such patients due to severe corneal neovascularization and postoperative rejection. Previous study demonstrated drug Fidgetin like 2 (FL2), serves as a fundamental regulator of cell migration and skin wound healing and we will investigate if it may promote corneal healing after alkaline injury.
We used the well-established rat alkali burn injury model to study the efficiency of the FL2 siRNA treatment. The animals were divided into 3 groups, FL2 treated, vehicle treated and untreated group (6 rats in each group). 4 mm circles of Whatman paper soaked in 1M NaOH applied directly to the cornea for 10 seconds, which induces chemical injury to cornea with corneal ulcer formation and scarring at 14 days.
Our current study showed in the rat corneal alkaline burn injury model, FL2 siRNA nanoparticle treatment dramatically promotes the healing process of corneal alkaline injury. It not only enhanced the healing time of corneal epithelium (with two-fold increase of healing areas at 3 days after injury), but also reduced corneal stromal edema and cloudiness, inflammation and neovascularization at day 14.
Targeting microtubule could be a novel therapy for corneal wound healing. With the advantage of nanoparticles and new siRNA technology, FL2 siRNA may be a potential breakthrough for its clinical application to treat corneal alkali injury and other corneal injury.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
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