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Curr Eye Res. 1996 Jun;15(6):680-4.

Propranolol suppression of ocular HSV-1 recurrence and associated corneal lesions following spontaneous reactivation in the rabbit.

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The LSU Eye Center, Louisiana State University Medical Center School of Medicine, 2020 Gravier Street, Suite B, New Orleans, LA 70112-2234, USA.



Hyperthermia has been shown to induce HSV-1 ocular shedding in mice. Systemic administration of propranolol significantly reduced the recovery of infectious virus in the tears, cornea, and trigeminal ganglia of mice subjected to hyperthermia. The present study was performed to determine the effects of systemic propranolol on ocular shedding and recurrent corneal epithelial lesions in the rabbit model.


New Zealand white rabbits were infected with HSV-1 strain McKrae or 17Syn+. After latency was established, the animals were treated with systemic propranolol or saline (control) and examined by slit lamp biomicroscopy for corneal lesion. Tear film swabs were cultured to determine the frequency and duration of viral shedding.


Propranolol caused a significant reduction in the frequency and duration of ocular HSV-1 shedding and a reduction in the frequency of recurrent corneal epithelia disease, compared with saline treatment.


These results suggest that beta-adrenergic receptor blockers such as propranolol could be useful in suppressing HSV-1 ocular recurrences and corneal disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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