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Immunology - Ophthalmology


Minocycline Inhibits Alkali Burn-Induced Corneal Neovascularization in Mice
Published: Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Author: Ou Xiao et al.

by Ou Xiao, Zhao-lian Xie, Bin-wu Lin, Xiao-fang Yin, Rong-biao Pi, Shi-you Zhou

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of minocycline on alkali burn-induced corneal neovascularization (CNV). A total of 105 mice treated with alkali burns were randomly divided into three groups to receive intraperitoneal injections of either phosphate buffered saline (PBS) or minocycline twice a day (60 mg/kg or 30 mg/kg) for 14 consecutive days. The area of CNV and corneal epithelial defects was measured on day 4, 7, 10, and14 after alkali burns. On day 14, a histopathological examination was performed to assess morphological change and the infiltration of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs). The mRNA expression levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors (VEGFRs), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), interleukin-1a, 1ß, 6 (IL-1a, IL-1ß, IL-6) were analyzed using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 proteins was determined by gelatin zymography. In addition, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to analyze the protein levels of VEGFR1, VEGFR2, IL-1ß and IL-6. Minocycline at a dose of 60 mg/kg or 30 mg/kg significantly enhanced the recovery of the corneal epithelial defects more than PBS did. There were significant decreases of corneal neovascularization in the group of high-dosage minocycline compared with the control group at all checkpoints. On day 14, the infiltrated PMNs was reduced, and the mRNA expression of VEGFR1, VEGFR2, bFGF, IL-1ß, IL-6, MMP-2, MMP-9, -13 as well as the protein expression of VEGFR2, MMP-2, -9, IL-1ß, IL-6 in the corneas were down-regulated with the use of 60 mg/kg minocycline twice a day. Our results showed that the intraperitoneal injection of minocycline (60 mg/kg b.i.d.) can significantly inhibit alkali burn-induced corneal neovascularization in mice, possibly by accelerating corneal wound healing and by reducing the production of angiogenic factors, inflammatory cytokines and MMPs.
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