Journal of ocular pharmacology and therapeutics : the official journal of the Association for Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics

A Rho-Associated Kinase Inhibitor Protects Permeability in a Cell Culture Model of Ocular Disease, and Reduces Aqueous Flare in Anterior Uveitis.

PMID 28157424


Recent clinical and experimental studies have reported favorable results when using Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) inhibitors for ocular disease, and in cell culture. Disruption of the human, nonpigmented ciliary epithelial cells (HNPCECs) that comprise the blood-aqueous barrier (BAB) induces anterior uveitis; these cells therefore provide a useful cell model of ocular disease. In this study, we examined the effects of ROCK inhibitors in anterior uveitis and in HNPCECs. Aqueous flare values and intraocular pressures (IOPs) were determined in patients with anterior uveitis, 2 weeks after administration of ripasudil hydrochloride hydrate, a commercial ROCK inhibitor used to treat glaucoma or ocular hypertension. We also investigated the effects of Y-27632, a second ROCK inhibitor, in HNPCECs following exposure to matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and human tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). Patients with anterior uveitis, glaucoma, or ocular hypertension, referred to the Aichi Medical University from February to July 2015, were enrolled. Thirty eyes from 25 outpatients were studied. Aqueous flare values and IOPs were significantly decreased 2 weeks after ripasudil hydrochloride hydrate treatment, with no adverse events. In a cultured HNPCEC monolayer, permeability was markedly increased following exposure to MMPs-1, 3, 9, and TNF-α, with these effects attenuated by exposure to Y-27632. In cultured HNPCECs, Y-27632 provoked a marked alteration in cytoskeletal morphology without a significant change in expression levels of claudin-1 and occludin. ROCK inhibitors may confer favorable effects in anterior uveitis, possibly due to a reorganized BAB, although the relevant mechanisms remain unclear.

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