ROCK Inhibitors as an Alternative Therapy for Corneal Grafting: A Systematic Review

J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2023 Nov;39(9):585-599. doi: 10.1089/jop.2023.0040. Epub 2023 Sep 22.


Currently, corneal blindness is affecting >10 million individuals worldwide, and there is a significant unmet medical need because only 1.5% of transplantation needs are met globally due to a lack of high-quality grafts. In light of this global health disaster, researchers are developing corneal substitutes that can resemble the human cornea in vivo and replace human donor tissue. Thus, this review examines ROCK (Rho-associated coiled-coil containing protein kinases) inhibitors as a potential corneal wound-healing (CWH) therapy by reviewing the existing clinical and nonclinical findings. The systematic review was done from PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar for CWH, corneal injury, corneal endothelial wound healing, ROCK inhibitors, Fasudil, Netarsudil, Ripasudil, Y-27632, clinical trial, clinical study, case series, case reports, preclinical study, in vivo, and in vitro studies. After removing duplicates, all downloaded articles were examined. The literature search included the data till January 2023. This review summarized the results of ROCK inhibitors in clinical and preclinical trials. In a clinical trial, various ROCK inhibitors improved CWH in individuals with open-angle glaucoma, cataract, iris cyst, ocular hypertension, and other ocular diseases. ROCK inhibitors also improved ocular wound healing by increasing cell adhesion, migration, and proliferation in vitro and in vivo. ROCK inhibitors have antifibrotic, antiangiogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic characteristics in CWH, according to the existing research. ROCK inhibitors were effective topical treatments for corneal infections. Ripasudil, Y-27632, H-1152, Y-39983, and AMA0526 are a few new ROCK inhibitors that may help CWH and replace human donor tissue.

Keywords: Fasudil; ROCK inhibitors; Ripasudil; corneal blindness; corneal wound healing.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Corneal Injuries* / metabolism
  • Corneal Transplantation*
  • Endothelium, Corneal / metabolism
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • rho-Associated Kinases / metabolism


  • K-115
  • Y 27632
  • rho-Associated Kinases