Topical use of latanoprost for glaucoma can lead to an increase in iris and eye lash pigmentation but the precise mechanism is unclear. To study the possible effect of this drug on ocular melanogenesis, we used cultures of bovine iris melanocytes, iris pigment epithelial cells, retinal pigment epithelial cells, and choroidal melanocytes. Latanoprost (at concentrations of 10(-8) and 10(-6) mol) was applied for 3 days, and cell numbers as well as melanin content were measured prior to and 10 days after exposure and compared to untreated controls. In none of the cell types examined a significant increase in melanin content or an increase in cell proliferation was observed. Additional treatment with the tyrosinase inhibitor alpha-methyl-p-tyrosine showed no significant effect either. Our results support the concept of a rather complex mechanism underlying the increased iris pigmentation after treatment with latanoprost.
Copyright 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel.