OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the in vitro effects of 1-mM rebamipide ophthalmic solution on the expression of inflammatory cytokines and MUC5AC in Cu, Zn-superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD-1) knock-down conjunctival epithelium. METHODS: Conjunctival epithelium from C57BL/6 wild-type mice was cultured and treated with rebamipide ophthalmic solution. Using cytometric bead array, we examined the levels of interleukin-(IL)-6, IL-10, IL-17, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, interferon-γ (INF-γ), tumor necrosis factor, and IL-12p70 in the culture supernatants. The culture supernatants were obtained from the culture medium of nontreated or SOD-1 knock-down conjunctival epithelium using small interfering RNA (siRNA). In addition, ELISA was performed to ascertain the MUC5AC concentration in the culture medium. RESULTS: After rebamipide ophthalmic solution was applied, IL-6 concentration in the supernatants of conjunctival epithelial cells treated with and without siRNA showed a significant timewise decrease from 0 to 24 hr (963±42 to 0.07±0.05 pg/mL and 932±168 to 2.2±0.05 pg/mL, respectively) (P<0.001). Compared with baseline values, MUC5AC concentrations significantly increased 24 hr after rebamipide application to the conjunctival cultures-both with and without SOD-1 siRNA treatment (P<0.05 in both cases). CONCLUSIONS: Rebamipide seems to increase MUC5AC levels and suppress inflammation by decreasing IL-6 levels in mouse conjunctival epithelial cell cultures. SOD-1 siRNA-treated mouse conjunctival epithelial cell culture is a practical method for investigating changes in mucosa-associated mucins and proinflammatory cytokines in response to therapeutic interventions.
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