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Xiaohui Zhang, Santosh Muddana, Sangeetha Ravi Kumar, Joshua Nelson Burton, Pratima Labroo, Jill Shea, Parker Stocking, Cornelia Siegl, Bonnie Archer, Jayant Agarwal, Balamurali K. Ambati; Topical Pergolide Enhance Corneal Nerve Regrowth Following Induced Corneal Abrasion. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(1):4. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.61.1.4.
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Neurotrophic keratopathy is a degenerative disease that may be improved by nerve growth factor (NGF). Our aim was to investigate the use of pergolide, a dopamine (D1 and D2) receptor agonist known to increase the synthesis and release of NGF for regeneration of damaged corneal nerve fibers.
Pergolide function was evaluated by measuring axon length and NGF levels by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in cultured chicken dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cells with serial doses of pergolide (10, 25, 50, 150, and 300 µg/ml) and with different concentrations of a D1 antagonist. Pergolide function was further evaluated by cornea nerve fiber density and wound healing in a cornea scratch mouse model.
Pergolide increased DRG axon length significantly at a dose between 50 and 300 µg/ml. Different concentrations of D1 antagonist (12, 24, 48, and 96 µg/ml) inhibited DRG axon length growth with pergolide (300 µg/ml). Pergolide (50 µg/ml) upregulated NGF expression in DRG cells at both 24 hours and 48 hours. Pergolide improved cornea nerve fiber density at both 1 week and 2 weeks. Pergolide also improved cornea wound healing.
We demonstrated that pergolide can act to promote an increase in NGF which promotes corneal nerve regeneration and would therefore improve corneal sensation and visual acuity in eyes with peripheral neurotrophic keratopathy.
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