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Acta Ophthalmol. 2013 Aug;91(5):e369-78. doi: 10.1111/aos.12070. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

Allograft survival enhancement using doxycycline in alkali-burned mouse corneas.

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Department of Ophthalmology, The Third Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China.



To explore the inhibitory effects of doxycycline on allograft rejection in alkali-burned cornea beds.


The corneas of BALB/c mice were injured using a 1 mol/l NaOH solution. Following the injury, the corneas from C57BL/6 mice were transplanted into the eyes of BALB/c mice after being randomized into three groups: allogeneic corneal transplantation (group A), topical use of doxycycline after allogeneic corneal transplantation (group B) and syngeneic corneal transplantation (group C). Corneal angiogenesis was examined using whole-mount immunofluorescence, and corneal inflammation was evaluated using inflammation index scoring. The immune rejection of the grafts was examined using a slit lamp. In addition, the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor A and interleukin-1β in the transplanted corneas was examined using a real-time polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


The outgrowth of the corneal blood vessels in the group A mice was faster than that in the group B and group C mice. The inflammation index levels were highest in the group A mice, intermediate in the group B mice and lowest in the group C mice. Vascular endothelial growth factor and the interleukin-1β protein and mRNA levels decreased dramatically in the group B mice compared with the group A mice (all p-values < 0.01). In addition, the mean survival time in the group B mice (27.00 ± 2.00 days) was significantly longer than that in the group A mice (11.67 ± 1.51 days; p < 0.05).


Doxycycline may have had a significant role in preventing corneal angiogenesis and inflammation in alkali-burned corneal beds, which resulted in higher allograft survival rates.


allograft; cornea; doxycycline; interleukin-1β; vascular endothelial growth factor A

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