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Exp Eye Res. 2000 Feb;70(2):215-20.

Imbalance in corneal redox state during herpes simplex virus 1-induced keratitis in rabbits. Effectiveness of exogenous glutathione supply.

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Department of Biopathology, Physiopathological Optics, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Rome, Italy.


A significant decrease in the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) was found in the corneal tissue of rabbits with Herpes Simplex 1 (HSV-1)-induced keratitis. Such a decrease was due to a loss of the reduced species, since no increase in its oxidized form was observed. Topical administration of purified GSH was able to reduce the virus titre in corneal tissue and, at the same time, was effective in reducing the severity and progression of keratitis and conjunctivitis. This effect was paralleled by a partial recovery in the corneal GSH content. In vitro experiments performed on HSV-1 infected corneal-derived rabbit cells showed that exogenous GSH reduced virus titre in the supernatant of infected cells. These results are in agreement with our previous findings that an oxidative environment, due to GSH depletion, is necessary for virus replication and suggest that topical GSH treatment could be considered as complementary therapy in HSV-1-induced keratitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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