It is known that α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) may exert anti-inflammatory effects and facilitate reparative processes in different tissues. The effective message sequence of α-MSH resides in the COOH-terminal tripeptide α-MSH11-13. This study was undertaken to investigate the effects of topical administration of the COOH-terminal tripeptide sequence of α-MSH (α-MSH11-13, KPV) on corneal epithelial wound healing in rabbits and the possible role of nitric oxide (NO) in these effects. The whole corneal epithelium was denuded in both eyes by mechanical abrasion. The area of the corneal epithelial defect was stained with fluorescein, photographed, and then measured before the treatment and every 12 h by a computerized software. The mean epithelial wound area and the mean percent of epithelial defect remaining at each follow-up control were compared between experimental groups. Rabbits were topically treated with KPV 1, 5 or 10 mg/ml (30 μl), two drops four times in a day, for 4 days, starting immediately after corneal abrasion, while control animals received topical phosphate-buffered saline as vehicle. In order to study the role of NO in corneal repair processes, the NO donor, sodium nitroprusside (SP, 10 mg/ml, 30 μl) was administered in both eyes, two drops four times in a day, for 4 days. The effects of KPV or SP were challenged by pre-treatment with the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, Nω-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME, 10 mg/ml, 30 μl) 30 min prior to KPV or SP instillation. The mean percent epithelial defect remaining each time was significantly smaller in animals treated with KPV or SP in comparison to controls. Sixty hours later, eight out of eight (100%) corneas treated with KPV or SP were completely re-epithelized (P < 0.05) while none of the corneas treated with placebo were re-epithelized. Pre-treatment with l-NAME inhibited the facilitating effect of KPV on corneal epithelial wound healing process and totally prevented the effect of SP. Rabbit corneal epithelial cells (RCE) in culture were exposed for 1, 6 and 24 h to different KPV concentrations (0.1, 1 and 10 μM) in medium containing 15% foetal bovine serum (FBS). Cell viability was stimulated by 1 and 10 μM concentrations of the substance. Thus, KPV may facilitate corneal epithelial wound healing in rabbits with a mechanism that may involve NO disposition in corneal tissue. However, it is not known whether this mechanism is likely to depend on a direct stimulating repairing activity shared by the entire molecule of α-MSH. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Experimental Eye Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience