Background: To determine whether iodide protects from UVB irradiation-induced destruction of hyaluronate and against UVB injury of cultured human conjunctival fibroblasts.
Methods: Hyaluronate and primary cultured human conjunctival fibroblasts were incubated with various concentrations of iodide and then exposed to UV light irradiation of 312 nm. Hyaluronate destruction was determined by viscosity measurements. Cell viability was assessed with MTT assay.
Results: Iodide protects hyaluronate from UVB light-induced degradation of this macromolecule in a concentration-dependent manner. Incubation of human conjunctival fibroblasts with iodide inhibited cells from damage by UVB light.
Conclusion: Iodide protects hyaluronate, a component of tear fluid and tissues of the anterior part of the eye, against UVB light-induced degradation. Also, injury of human conjunctival cells can be prevented by incubation with iodide before UVB irradiation. The mechanism of protection is likely to include an antioxidative reaction. To support the natural defence mechanisms of the eyes, the administration of an antioxidant such as iodide to artificial tears, for example, may help to prevent the damage of the eye provoked by oxidative stress.