The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Topical Epigallocatechin Gallate (from green tea)

This is early stage mice research so don't get excited yet. Interesting stuff, though, & seems to have been studied extensively in the role of skin cancer prevention. In this study it reduced clinical signs and inflammation.

Therapeutic Efficacy of Topical Epigallocatechin Gallate in Murine Dry Eye.

To study the efficacy of topical epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) for the treatment of dry eye disease (DED).

Seven- to 8-week-old female C57BL/6 mice were housed in the controlled environment chamber to induce DED. Topical 0.01% or 0.1% EGCG, or vehicle, was applied to the eyes of DED mice. Corneal fluorescein staining and the number of corneal CD11b+ cells were assessed in the different groups. Expression of interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, chemokine ligand 2, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A/C/D was evaluated by real-time polymerase chain reaction in the corneas at day 9. Corneas were stained for lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor (LYVE)-1 to evaluate lymphangiogenesis, and the terminal transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay was used to evaluate apoptosis of corneal epithelial cells.

Treatment with 0.1% EGCG showed a significant decrease in corneal fluorescein staining compared with the vehicle (24.6%, P = 0.001) and untreated controls (41.9%, P < 0.001). A significant decrease in the number of CD11b+ cells was observed in 0.1% EGCG-treated eyes, compared with the vehicle in the peripheral (23.3%, P = 0.001) and central (26.1%, P = 0.009) corneas. Treatment with 0.1% EGCG was associated with a significant decrease in the corneal expression of interleukin-1β (P = 0.029) and chemokine ligand 2 (P = 0.001) compared with the vehicle and in VEGF-A and VEGF-D levels compared with the untreated group (P = 0.007 and P = 0.048, respectively). EGCG 0.01% also showed a decrease in inflammation at the molecular level but no significant changes in the clinical signs of DED. No cellular toxicity to the corneal epithelium was observed with 0.01% or 0.1% EGCG.

Topical EGCG treatment is able to reduce the clinical signs and inflammatory changes in DED by suppressing the inflammatory cytokine expression and infiltration of CD11b+ cells in the cornea.

Cornea. 2011 Oct 11. [Epub ahead of print]
Lee HS, Chauhan SK, Okanobo A, Nallasamy N, Dana R.
From the Schepens Eye Research Institute, and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary; and Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.