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Rodrigo Carlos de Oliveira, Sofia Murillo, Paramananda Saikia, Steven E. Wilson; The Efficacy of Topical HGF on Corneal Fibrosis and Epithelial Healing after Scar-Producing PRK Injury in Rabbits. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(4):29. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.4.29.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To determine the effect of topical hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) on myofibroblast development and corneal opacity after fibrosis-producing photorefractive keratectomy (PRK).
Twelve New Zealand rabbits had transepithelial PRK. Six rabbits received topical recombinant human HGF (rhHGF) (50 µL of 0.1 mg/mL) 3 times a day for 1 week beginning 6 hours prior surgery and until full closure of the epithelium, and 6 control rabbits received vehicle by the same schedule. Slit lamp photos were taken immediately and at 43 to 45 hours after surgery to determine the rate of epithelial healing. Slit lamp photographs and immunohistochemistry for α-smooth muscle actin were analyzed at 1 month in masked fashion.
The rhHGF group tended to have slower re-epithelization when compared with the controls, but no statistically significant difference was noted (P = 0.62). There was no significant difference in the density of myofibroblasts in the central stroma (P = 0.49) or corneal opacity (P = 0.84) between the HGF and control groups at 1 month after PRK.
Topical rhHGF applied three times a day during the early postoperative period prior to epithelial closure did not significantly change the corneal epithelial healing rate, myofibroblast density, or opacity compared with vehicle after transepithelial −9.0 D PRK injury of the central cornea in rabbits.
HGF has been reported to decrease myofibroblast generation and fibrosis in many organs, but topical HGF applied to the cornea until epithelial healing had no effect on scarring fibrosis in rabbit corneas.
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