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Curr Eye Res. 1997 May;16(5):453-8.

Effect of a beta-adrenergic antagonist, propranolol, on induced HSV-1 ocular recurrence in latently infected rabbits.

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LSU Eye Center, New Orleans 70112-2234, USA.



Propranolol, a beta-adrenergic antagonist, has been shown to block hyperthermically-induced ocular recurrence of HSV-1 in mice and reduce spontaneous ocular viral shedding and herpetic corneal lesions in latently infected rabbits. The present study was performed to determine the effect of propranolol on epinephrine iontophoresis-induced ocular recurrence and immunosuppression-induced ocular recurrence in the rabbit eye model.


New Zealand white rabbits were infected with HSV-1 strain 17Syn+ or McKrae. After latency was established, the animals were injected intramuscularly with saline (placebo), or propranolol (5-200 mg/kg) twice daily, and then induced with epinephrine iontophoresis or cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone administration. Tear film swabs were cultured to determine the frequency of viral shedding.


Propranolol administered at a range of doses did not affect the frequency or duration of viral shedding following epinephrine or cyclophosphamide/dexamethasone induction as compared to saline treatment.


These results demonstrate that propranolol does not significantly reduce ocular HSV-1 shedding following induction by epinephrine iontophoresis or immunosuppression. By inference, these results suggest two possibilities: (1) that viral pathways leading to spontaneous and induced shedding of virus are under separate control mechanisms or (2) in rabbits, these inducers are of such potency that propranolol is ineffectual.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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