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Ruti Sella, Yamit Cohen-Tayar, Takako Noguchi, Emma N. Finburgh, Rebecca R. Lian, Anser A. Abbas, Dominic F. Hakim, Jennifer J. Bu, Jiagang Zhao, Peter Shaw, Irit Bahar, Natalie A. Afshari; The Effect of Anti-Inflammatory Topical Ophthalmic Treatments on In Vitro Corneal Epithelial Cells. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2022;11(9):16. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.11.9.16.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To compare the effect of three commonly prescribed anti-inflammatory eye drops on corneal epithelial cells in vitro.
Three different lines of human corneal epithelial cells were tested: primary cells cultured from donor tissue, commercially available primary cells, and immortalized cells. Cells were seeded on 96-well plates and treated with the following eye drops: cyclosporine 0.05%, lifitegrast 5%, and tacrolimus 0.03% or 0.1%. Exposure times tested were 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours, and 24 hours. Brightfield images and viability assays were analyzed 48 to 72 hours after the initiation of treatments. At least five replicates were tested per drug and time exposure.
Commercially obtained primary cells showed reduced viability following 1 hour with tacrolimus 0.1% (8%; P = 0.043%) and 4 hours with tacrolimus 0.03% (17%; P = 0.042%). Lifitegrast exposure reduced primary cell viability after 4 hours (10%; P = 0.042). Cell viability in primary cells was not deleteriously affected following exposure to cyclosporine for up to 4 hours. A similar trend was observed in both primary cells cultured from donor tissue and immortalized human corneal epithelial cells, demonstrating greater decreases in cell viability in tacrolimus compared to lifitegrast and cyclosporine. Light microscopy imaging for analysis of cell morphology and confluence supported the results.
Tacrolimus showed the highest impact on corneal epithelium survival in vitro, and cyclosporine proved the most protective.
Comparing anti-inflammatory eye drops on corneal epithelial cells in vitro may inform eye drop selection and development for clinical purposes.
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