Deterioration of wound healing and intense suppression of MMP-9 mRNA expression after short-term administration of different topical glucocorticoids or NSAIDs in an avian model of corneal lesions

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran



Background: Corneal lesions are considered among important ophthalmic conditions in avian patients.  Short-term outcome of using anti-inflammatory agents in corneal lesions of birds are not well-described.  Aims: The study evaluates effects of different anti-inflammatory agents on healing of alkali burn-induced corneal lesions in layer hens as an avian model. Methods: Adult layers were randomly allocated into 7 groups (n=15) as follows: 1. Negative (normal) control (NC), 2. Positive control (PC) with experimentally induced-corneal lesion, 3-7. Birds with corneal lesion that were treated with dexamethasone, fluorometholone, prednisolone, ketorolac or diclofenac eye-drops QID for 5 consecutive days. Results:  At the end of the experiment, a proper healing was observed in PC group based on lesion area while treated groups showed statistically larger lesion sizes as compared to PC birds (p <0.05). Although no significant difference was observed among groups, birds treated with ketorolac, diclofenac or fluorometholone had higher histopathological scores for most of the assayed parameters than other groups. Levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in corneal tissue of different groups were statistically the same. The mRNA expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) was increased 2.5 folds in PC group as compared to NC birds. However; birds that were treated with anti-inflammatory agents showed no detectable expression of MMP-9 mRNA.  Conclusion: Five days of topical administration of NSAIDs or GCs is associated with suppression of MMP-9 mRNA expression in corneal tissue and detrimental effects on wound healing in layers with alkali burn-induced corneal ulcers.


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