Synergistic effect of artificial tears containing epigallocatechin gallate and hyaluronic acid for the treatment of rabbits with dry eye syndrome

Ching Li Tseng, Ya Jung Hung, Zhi Yu Chen, Hsu Wei Fang, Ko Hua Chen

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a common eye disease. Artificial tears (AT) are used to treat DES, but they are not effective. In this study, we assessed the anti-inflammatory effect of AT containing epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and hyaluronic acid (HA) on DES. Human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs) were used in theWST-8 assay to determine the safe dose of EGCG. Lipopolysaccharide-stimulated HCECs showing inflammation were treated with EGCG/HA. The expression of IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α was assessed by real- Time PCR and AT physical properties such as the viscosity, osmolarity, and pH were examined. AT containing EGCG and HA were topically administered in a rabbit DES model established by treatment with 0.1% benzalkonium chloride (BAC). Tear secretion was assessed and fluorescein, H&E, and TUNEL staining were performed. Inflammatory cytokine levels in the corneas were also examined. The non- Toxic optimal concentration of EGCG used for the treatment of HCECs in vitro was 10 μg/mL. The expression of several inflammatory genes, including IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α, was significantly inhibited in inflamed HCECs treated with 10 μg/mL EGCG and 0.1% (w/v) HA (E10/HA) compared to that in inflamed HCECs treated with either EGCG or HA alone. AT containing E10/HA mimic human tears, with similar osmolarity and viscosity and a neutral pH. Fluorescence examination of the ocular surface of mouse eyes showed that HA increased drug retention on the ocular surface. Topical treatment of DES rabbits with AT plus E10/HA increased tear secretion, reduced corneal epithelial damage, and maintained the epithelial layers and stromal structure.Moreover, the corneas of the E10/HA- Treated rabbits showed fewer apoptotic cells, lower inflammation, and decreased IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α levels. In conclusion, we showed that AT plus E10/HA had anti-inflammatory and mucoadhesive properties when used as topical eye drops and were effective for treating DES in rabbits.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0157982
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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