Purpose: To evaluate the effect of umbilical cord serum (UCS) eye drops on corneal wound healing and haze in a mouse model of ocular chemical burn and compare with that of peripheral blood serum (PBS) eye drops or artificial tears (AT).
Methods: Chemical burn of the ocular surface was induced by 1N NaOH in C57BL/6 mice. Injured mice were topically treated with 20% UCS, 20% PBS, or AT four times daily. The changes of corneal epithelial defects and degree of haze were analyzed at 6 h, 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 days, and histological examination was performed at 3 and 7 days. The concentration of IL-1β in the cornea was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay at 7 days after treatment.
Results: The UCS group showed lower epithelial defect parameters compared with the PBS group at 1 and 2 days (p < 0.05), and with the AT group from 1-5 days (p < 0.05). The haze scores were significantly lower in the UCS group than in the PBS group at 2 and 3 days (p < 0.05), and in the AT group from 2-7 days (p < 0.05). Histological examination showed better epithelial integrity and lower stromal inflammation and edema in the UCS group than the other groups. IL-1β levels were 99.71 ± 85.22 and 230.76 ± 102.67 pg/ml in the UCS and PBS groups, respectively (p = 0.03).
Conclusions: UCS eye drops are more effective in improving corneal wound healing and reducing corneal haze compared with PBS eye drops and AT in experimental chemical burns.