Inhibition by indomethacin of the increased facility of outflow induced by adrenaline

Exp Eye Res. 1990 Feb;50(2):119-26. doi: 10.1016/0014-4835(90)90221-f.


Topical adrenaline lowers intraocular pressure (IOP) in the rabbit largely due to an increase in facility of outflow of aqueous humour. This paper studies the inhibition by indomethacin or piroxicam of the adrenaline-induced rise in facility of outflow. Topical indomethacin is shown to reduce the acute IOP changes induced by adrenaline in conscious rabbits; both the early rise and the prolonged fall in pressure were inhibited. In anaesthetized rabbits, indomethacin pretreatment prevented the large rise in facility of outflow which normally follows topical adrenaline. Indomethacin did not block the mydriasis induced by adrenaline, nor did it significantly alter aqueous humour protein levels. Piroxicam, a cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor which, unlike indomethacin, does not block Ca2+ movements in some tissues, also blocked the adrenaline-induced rise in facility of outflow, suggesting that this increased facility depends on cyclo-oxygenase and not on Ca2+ movements. Verapamil, a drug which blocks Ca2+ channels, was shown to inhibit the brief ocular hypertensive effect of adrenaline in the conscious rabbit, but to leave the hypotensive phase unchanged. It is concluded that the hypotensive mechanism of adrenaline may depend on synthesis of a prostaglandin, since inhibition of the adrenaline-induced rise in facility is achieved by inhibitors of cyclooxygenase. Despite previous reports that a prostaglandin may be responsible for the brief hypertensive phase, the present evidence suggests that Ca2+ movements may be involved, perhaps in activation of the extraocular muscles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aqueous Humor / analysis
  • Aqueous Humor / drug effects*
  • Aqueous Humor / physiology
  • Epinephrine / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Eye Proteins / analysis
  • Female
  • Indomethacin / pharmacology*
  • Intraocular Pressure / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Piroxicam / pharmacology
  • Rabbits


  • Eye Proteins
  • Piroxicam
  • Indomethacin
  • Epinephrine