Objective: To study the effect of topical cyclosporine on lymphocyte activation within the conjunctiva of patients with moderate to severe dry eye syndrome (Sjögren and non-Sjögren).
Methods: Biopsy specimens were obtained at baseline and after 6 months of cyclosporine treatment from eyes of 32 patients with moderate to severe dry eye syndrome; 19 were cyclosporine treated (0.05% cyclosporine, n = 13; 0.1% cyclosporine, n = 6) and 13 were vehicle treated. Within this group there were 12 with Sjögren syndrome and 20 with non-Sjögren syndrome. Biopsy tissue was analyzed using immunohistochemical localization of binding of monoclonal antibodies to lymphocytic markers CD3, CD4, and CD8 as well as lymphocyte activation markers CD11a and HLA-DR.
Results: In cyclosporine-treated eyes, biopsy results of conjunctivae showed decreases in the number of cells positive for CD3, CD4, and CD8, while in vehicle-treated eyes, results showed increases in these markers, although these differences were not statistically significant. Following treatment with 0.05% cyclosporine, there was a significant decrease in the number of cells expressing the lymphocyte activation markers CD11a (P<.05) and HLA-DR (P<.05), indicating less activation of lymphocytes as compared with vehicle treatment. Within the Sjögren patient subgroup, those treated with 0.05% cyclosporine also showed a significant decrease in the number of cells positive for CD11a (P<.001) as well as CD3 (P<.03), indicating a reduction in number of activated lymphocytes.
Conclusion: Treatment of dry eye syndrome with topical cyclosporine significantly reduced the numbers of activated lymphocytes within the conjunctiva. Arch Ophthalmol. 2000;118:1489-1496