• Cornea/External Disease

    This experimental study evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of topical interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) for treating dry eye and found that it ameliorated the clinical signs of the disease and reduced underlying inflammation. These effects were comparable with those resulting from treatment with topical methylprednisolone. The authors conclude that topical IL-1Ra holds promise as a novel therapeutic strategy in the treatment of dry eye and possibly other inflammatory conditions of the cornea and ocular surface.

    They induced dry eye in C57BL/6 female mice through exposure to a desiccating environment within a controlled environment chamber. The mice were then divided into five groups that underwent no treatment or treatment with topical formulations containing 5% IL-1Ra, 1% methylprednisolone, 0.05% cyclosporin A, or a vehicle control containing carboxymethylcellulose sodium.

    Ocular signs of dry eye were evaluated using fluorescein staining at day two, six and nine. The mice were sacrificed on day 10 for cellular and molecular studies.

    The authors observed a significant decrease in corneal fluorescein staining after topical treatment with 5% IL-1Ra (P < 0.01), 1% methylprednisolone (P < 0.01) and 0.05% cyclosporin A (P < 0.03). Additionally, a significant decrease in the numbers of central corneal CD11b+ cells (P < 0.05), corneal lymphatic growth (P < 0.05) and corneal interleukin-1β expression (P < 0.003) compared with vehicle-treated mice was demonstrated after treatment with 5% IL-1Ra and 1% methylprednisolone.

    The authors say these results demonstrate the beneficial effect of IL-1 blockade via the topical application of IL-1Ra in treating the ocular signs and reversing the inflammatory changes associated with dry eye at both the molecular and cellular levels. IL-1Ra-treated eyes had a significant reversal in corneal epithelial damage, indicated by decreased fluorescein staining compared with the untreated and vehicle-treated groups.