Efficacy of early systemic betamethasone or cyclosporin A after corneal alkali injury via inflammatory cytokine reduction

Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 2004 Apr;82(2):195-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0420.2004.00229.x.


Purpose: To evaluate the effects of early systemic administration of betamethasone or cyclosporin A (CsA) on inflammatory cytokine expression and corneal damage after alkali injury.

Methods: Sixty-five Wistar rat corneas injured with 1N NaOH were divided into three groups: untreated, betamethasone-treated and CsA-treated. Both agents were administered systemically and daily during the first 7 days after injury. Interleukin (IL)-1alpha, -6 and -8 concentrations in the injured corneas were measured with ELISA at 2, 4 and 7 days after injury. Corneal damage was evaluated by scoring clinical findings.

Results: In untreated injured corneas, IL-1alpha, -6 and -8 were markedly elevated during the 7-day period following injury. Both betamethasone and CsA significantly suppressed IL-1alpha and IL-8 at day 4. Only betamethasone significantly suppressed IL-6 at days 4 and 7. Both agents significantly reduced corneal opacity at day 4.

Conclusion: Early systemic administration of betamethasone or CsA after alkali injury may be of benefit by suppressing inflammatory cytokine expression in the cornea.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Betamethasone / administration & dosage*
  • Burns, Chemical / metabolism*
  • Cornea / metabolism*
  • Cyclosporine / administration & dosage*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Eye Burns / chemically induced*
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Interleukins / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sodium Hydroxide / toxicity


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Interleukins
  • Sodium Hydroxide
  • Cyclosporine
  • Betamethasone