Purpose: It is debated whether the inflammatory reaction that follows cataract surgery is important in the development of after-cataract. The aim of the present investigation was to study if reduction of the early inflammatory process had any effect on the development of after-cataract in the rabbit.
Methods: Rabbits were divided into 3 groups: 1) no treatment (control), 2) steroids, and 3) IB4 (murine anti-CD18 mab). Aqueous humor (AqH) was aspirated from all rabbits just prior to, and 1 and 56 days after cataract surgery. On day 56 the weight of the after-cataracts was determined. The effect of the AqH on rabbit lens epithelial cell (LEC) proliferation in vitro was investigated. The AqH concentrations of protein, leukocytes, prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), and active transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) were determined.
Results: In AqH collected on day 1 postoperatively from the control group, the concentration of leukocytes, protein and PGE(2) were 152.1/microl, 20.6 mg/ml, and 441.5 pg/0.1 ml, respectively. The corresponding levels in the steroid group were significantly lower (55.8/microl, 12.1 mg/ml, and 140.2 pg/0.1 ml). In the IB4 group, the concentrations of leukocytes and protein were significantly lower, 17.9/microl and 11.1 mg/ml, respectively. However, the proliferative effect of AqH on rabbit LEC, the concentrations of bFGF and active TGF-beta on day 1, and the weight of after-cataract on day 56 were not reduced by the anti-inflammatory treatments.
Conclusions: This study indicates that reduction of the early inflammatory response after cataract surgery is not important in the development of after-cataract.