Effects of 5-fluorouracil and mitomycin C on cultured rabbit subconjunctival fibroblasts

Ophthalmology. 1990 Sep;97(9):1204-10. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(90)32456-9.


The authors investigated effects of two antimetabolites, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and mitomycin C (MMC), on proliferation and motility of cultured rabbit subconjunctival fibroblasts. Both drugs caused dose-dependent inhibition of fibroblast proliferation. These effects were reversible at lower doses (0.33 mg/l of 5-FU, 1.0 X 10(-3) mg/l of MMC) and at an early stage of treatment, but became irreversible at higher doses or after longer treatment times. The degree of growth inhibition reached a plateau after 7 days of treatment. Neither drug altered fibroblast migration in the agarose droplet motility assay or on the intra-cytoplasmic actin distribution by epifluorescent-light microscopy. These results indicate that 5-FU and MMC inhibit subconjunctival fibroblast function predominantly by their effect on cell proliferation rather than on cell motility. The clinical implications of these results may possibly support the use of a much lower total dose of subconjunctival antimetabolite than used in the 5-FU clinical trial.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Conjunctiva / cytology
  • Conjunctiva / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects*
  • Fluorouracil / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Mitomycin
  • Mitomycins / pharmacology*
  • Rabbits


  • Actins
  • Mitomycins
  • Mitomycin
  • Fluorouracil