Rapamycin inhibits corneal allograft rejection and neovascularization

Arch Ophthalmol. 1994 Nov;112(11):1471-5. doi: 10.1001/archopht.1994.01090230085026.


Objective: To investigate the immunosuppressive effect of rapamycin in prolonging allograft survival in the rat model of orthotopic allogeneic penetrating keratoplasty.

Design: Thirty inbred Lewis rats received corneal allografts from Brown Norway donors. Animals were divided into two rapamycin treatment groups and one allogeneic control group.

Results: By the second week after surgery, all of the control animals had experienced allograft failure due to allograft rejection. However, allografts in seven of 10 animals in the low-dose treatment group and allografts in seven of nine animals in the high-dose treatment group remained clear. In addition, corneal neovascularization was markedly reduced in the treated animals.

Conclusions: The systemic administration of rapamycin prolongs corneal allograft survival and significantly inhibits the neovascular component of rejection in the rat model of orthotopic allogeneic penetrating keratoplasty.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cornea / drug effects*
  • Cornea / pathology
  • Corneal Neovascularization / pathology
  • Corneal Neovascularization / prevention & control*
  • Graft Rejection / pathology
  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control*
  • Graft Survival / drug effects
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating* / pathology
  • Polyenes / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred BN
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Sirolimus
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • Polyenes
  • Sirolimus