Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.499, No.2, 177-181, 2018
Zidovudine protects hyperosmolarity-stressed human corneal epithelial cells via antioxidant pathway
Dry Eye Disease (DED) is a very common disorder that can result in severe disability and vision loss. Although the pathogenesis of DED is not fully understood, hyperosmolarity, inflammation, and tear film instability are recognized as hallmarks of DED. Recently, Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs), a class of medication used to treat HIV, have been shown to inhibit inflammation in a mouse model of retinal atrophy. In this study, we investigated whether Zidovudine (AZT) can inhibit human corneal epithelial cell (HCEC) inflammatory responses under hyperosmotic conditions. HCECs were cultured in hyperosmotic media containing AZT. Cell viability, cytokine production, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production were measured. We found that AZT decreased nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappa B) and Interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels, increased Superoxide Dismutase 1 (SOD1) production, decreased ROS production, and increased cell viability. These results support the novel use of AZT in the reduction of ocular surface inflammation and the promotion of corneal health in the context of DED. (C) 2018 Published by Elsevier Inc.