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Comparison of Treatment Effect and Tolerance of the Topical Application of Mizoribine and Cyclosporine A in a Mouse Dry Eye Model

Purpose: To compare the treatment effects and tolerability of a topical application of mizoribine (MZR) and cyclosporine A (CsA) eye drops (Restasis; Allergan, Inc., Irvine, CA, USA) in a mouse dry eye model.

Methods: C57BL/6 mice subjected to desiccating stress (DS) were treated with 0.05% MZR in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) or Restasis eye drops four times a day for 5 days. Untreated mice served as control. Tear secretion, Oregon green dextran staining, and the conjunctival goblet cell quantity were evaluated. The apoptosis and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) in the ocular surface, conjunctival CD4, and T helper-related cytokines were verified. The ocular tolerance of these two drugs was evaluated by observing the mice's behavioral changes.

Results: Topical administrations of MZR or Restasis both increased tear production, maintained goblet cell density, and improved corneal barrier function. Both MZR and Restasis suppressed the expression of MMP-9 and apoptosis in the ocular surface. Meanwhile, both MZR and Restasis decreased the infiltration of CD4+ T cells, reversed the production of interferon-γ, interleukin (IL)-17A, and IL-13 in conjunctiva under DS. The abovementioned efficacies between these two eye drops were not statistically significant. However, the number of scratching and wiping behaviors in the MZR-treated group was significantly less than in the Restasis-treated group.

Conclusions: MZR (0.05% in PBS) could be a good competitive product for Restasis because of the comparable treatment effect in dry eye diseases and better ocular tolerability in ocular itch and pain.

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