Graefe's archive for clinical and experimental ophthalmology = Albrecht von Graefes Archiv fur klinische und experimentelle Ophthalmologie

Anti-neovascular effect of chondrocyte-derived extracellular matrix on corneal alkaline burns in rabbits.

PMID 24789464


We investigated the effect of a chondrocyte-derived extracellular matrix (CDECM) on experimental corneal alkaline burns in rabbits. Corneal neovascularization (NV) was induced by applying an 8-mm filter paper soaked in 1xa0N NaOH to the right central corneas of rabbits for 1xa0minute. Ten days later, the rabbits were randomly divided into three groups: the alkaline burn group, the CDECM transplantation group, and the human amniotic membrane (HAM) transplantation group. The left eyes were used as controls. CDECM and HAM were transplanted onto the corneal surface to completely cover the resected area and were subsequently sutured. On the 10th day after transplantation, the structural changes of the cornea were analyzed histologically. We examined the effects of CDECM on clinical NV features and on the expression of corneal NV markers. The alkaline burn produced significant NV and increased the corneal thickness. On day 10 after transplantation, the thickness, NV and opacity of the cornea were markedly decreased in the CDECM group (p < 0.001). However, the HAM transplantation group did not exhibit improvements in these clinical parameters, and there were no significant differences relative to the burn group. In addition, the use of CDECM improved the healing of the cornea following the alkaline burn by disrupting the corneal epithelial proliferation and reducing the fibrotic changes of the stroma. The hallmarks of NV were significantly induced in the subepithelium by the alkaline burn, and these levels were also suppressed by CDECM. The CDECM suppressed corneal NV by inhibiting nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) activation by blocking the PKC and Akt signaling pathways. CDECM transplantation was markedly effective in healing alkali-burned corneas by modulating the translocation of NF-κB to the nucleus, thereby representing a promising material for the noninvasive treatment of ocular surface disease.