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Cornea. 2014 May;33(5):527-32. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000000104.

Effect of topical epigallocatechin gallate on corneal neovascularization in rabbits.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, St Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, the Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of topical application of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) for the treatment of corneal neovascularization in a rabbit model.


Corneal neovascularization was induced in 12 rabbits by placing a black silk suture in the corneal stroma (24 eyes) for a week. After suturing, 1 randomly chosen eye of the 12 rabbits was treated with topical EGCG at 2 different concentrations: 0.01% (group 1) and 0.1% (group 2), whereas the contralateral eyes were treated with sterilized balanced salt solution as the control. All eye drops were applied for 2 weeks after suturing. The suture materials were removed from all eyes on day 7. The surface area of corneal neovascularization was measured and analyzed in all eyes on days 7 and 14. On day 14, all eyes were extracted to measure the concentrations of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) messenger RNA and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein.


The surface area of induced corneal neovascularization was significantly smaller only in group 2 compared with that of the control group on days 7 and 14 (P < 0.001). The change in surface area of corneal neovascularization after removal of the suture material was not significantly different between all 3 groups. VEGF messenger RNA levels were significantly lower in group 2 than in the control group (P < 0.001). The concentration of COX-2 was significantly lower in group 2 than in the control group (P = 0.043), but no significant difference was observed between group 1 and the control group.


Topical administration of EGCG effectively inhibits corneal neovascularization in rabbits. This inhibitory effect is probably related to the suppression of VEGF and COX-2 meditated angiogenesis.

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