Interleukin-6 levels in the conjunctival epithelium of patients with dry eye disease treated with cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion

Kathleen Turner, Stephen C. Pflugfelder, Zhonghua Ji, William J. Feuer, Michael Stern, Brenda L. Reis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

131 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose. To evaluate interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels in the conjunctival epithelium of patients with moderate to severe dry eye disease before and after treatment with cyclosporin A ophthalmic emulsion (CsA) or its vehicle. Methods. Conjunctival cytology specimens were obtained from a subset of patients enrolled in a 6-month randomized, double-masked clinical trial of the efficacy and safety of topical CsA at baseline and after 3 and 6 months of B.I.D. treatment with 0.05% cyclosporine emulsion (n = 13), 0.1% cyclosporine emulsion (n = 8), or vehicle (n = 10). RNA was extracted and a competitive reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to evaluate the levels of mRNA encoding the inflammatory cytokine IL-6 and a housekeeping gene, G3PDH. Levels of IL-6 and G3PDH were measured and compared. Results. There was no change from baseline in the level of G3PDH after 3 or 6 months in any group. IL-6 normalized for G3PDH (IL-6/G3PDH ratio) was not different from baseline at 3 months but showed a significant decrease from baseline in the group treated with 0.05% CsA (p = 0.048) at 6 months. No significant between-group differences were noted and no correlation was observed between the change in IL-6/G3PDH and corneal fluorescein staining. Conclusions. This preliminary, small-cohort study showed a decrease in IL-6 in the conjunctival epithelium of moderate to severe dry eye patients treated with 0.05% CsA for 6 months. The observed decrease suggests that dry eye disease involves immune-mediated inflammatory processes that may be decreased by treatment with topical ophthalmic cyclosporine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)492-496
Number of pages5
JournalCornea
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2000

Keywords

  • Conjunctiva
  • Cyclosporin A
  • Dry eye disease
  • Interleukin- 6
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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