Solvent/detergent virally inactivated serum eye drops restore healthy ocular epithelium in a rabbit model of dry-eye syndrome

Ching Li Tseng, Zhi Yu Chen, Ting Yi Renn, Shun Hung Hsiao, Thierry Burnouf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Application of autologous serum eye drops (SEDs) is a recognized means to treat severe dry-eye syndrome (DES). Due to the inconvenience and difficulty of preparing SEDs from some patients, producing SEDs from allogeneic blood donations is gaining popularity. A major safety concern associated with allogeneic blood is virus transmission. We therefore herein evaluated the possibility of applying a solvent/detergent (S/D) treatment to inactivate viruses and studied the impacts of such treatment of SEDs to resolve DES in a rabbit model. Sera prepared from the blood of five rabbits were pooled and divided into two subpools. One was untreated (SEDs), while the other was virally-inactivated with 1% Tri-n-butyl phosphate/1% Triton X-45 at 31°C for 1 h (S/D-SEDs). DES was induced in rabbits using 0.1% benzalkonium chloride (BAC). Rabbits were divided into five groups of two rabbits each. One group was untreated (control), three were treated twice daily for 3 weeks using PBS, SEDs, or S/D-SEDs, and the last received an additional 0.1% BAC (as the negative control). The DES condition was determined by measuring aqueous tear secretion (Schirmer's test), corneal fluorescein staining, a corneal histologic examination, TUNEL stain apoptosis, and corneal inflammatory marker (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL- 8, and IL-6) expressions. We first confirmed that SEDs and S/D-SEDs had similar protein profiles and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β contents. Animal experiments showed that tear secretion did not significantly differ between the SED and S/D-SED groups but was significantly higher than in the PBS group. Eye fluorescein staining revealed dramatic improvements in epithelial defects in groups treated with SEDs or S/D-SEDs, and hematoxylin/ eosin staining revealed microscopic epithelial layers similar to those of the untreated controls. Inflammatory markers and TUNEL studies showed that healthy epithelium had been restored in groups treated with SEDs or S/D-SEDs. In conclusion, this preclinical study supports the possibility of using S/D virally inactivated SEDs to treat DES and restore a normal epithelium.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0153573
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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