The effect of prostaglandin analogue bimatoprost on thyroid-associated orbitopathy

Catherine J. Choi, Wensi Tao, Ravi Doddapaneni, Zenith Acosta-Torres, Nathan W. Blessing, Bradford W. Lee, Daniel Pelaez, Sara T. Wester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. We characterize the effect of bimatoprost on orbital adipose tissue in thyroid-associated orbitopathy (TAO) with clinicopathologic correlation. METHODS. Orbital adipose-derived stem cells (OASCs) from types 1 and 2 TAO and control patients with and without exposure to 1 lm bimatoprost were examined via immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR, and Western blot for cell viability, migration capacity, lipid content, adipocyte morphology, mitochondrial content, and levels of adipogenic markers. A retrospective chart review was performed for clinicopathologic correlation. In mice, optical coherence tomography and pattern electroretinography were performed at baseline and at 1 month following a retrobulbar injection of bimatoprost, followed by orbital exenteration for histopathologic examination. RESULTS. Types 1 and 2 TAO-derived cells had a significantly higher migration capacity and lipid content than those of healthy controls. With the addition of bimatoprost, types 1 and 2 TAO and control adipocytes exhibited a significant decrease in lipid content with morphologic transformation into smaller and multilocular lipid droplets, and an increase in mitochondrial load and UCP-1 expression consistent with an increase in brown adipose tissue turnover. Retrobulbar injection of bimatoprost in mice did not alter the gross morphology, retinal thickness, or ganglion cell function in vivo. CONCLUSIONS. Bimatoprost inhibits adipogenesis in OASCs and upregulates pathways involved in the browning of adipocytes. Furthermore, retrobulbar injection of bimatoprost is tolerated without immediate adverse effects in mice. Our results suggest a potential future application of prostaglandin analogues in the treatment of TAO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5912-5923
Number of pages12
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number15
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Adipogenesis
  • Bimatoprost
  • Brown adipose tissue
  • Prostaglandins
  • Thyroid eye disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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