Ethyl pyruvate ameliorates endotoxin-induced corneal inflammation

Divya Gupta, Yiqin Du, Jordan Piluek, Adam M. Jakub, Kristine Ann Buela, Akshar Abbott, Joel S. Schuman, Nirmala SundarRaj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effect of ethyl pyruvate (EP) in a mouse model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced corneal inflammation. Methods. LPS was injected intrastromally into the corneas of C57BL/6 mice followed by treatment with a solution of 2.5% EP in 0.2% hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) every 90 minutes during the course of 12 hours. Prednisolone acetate 1% solution (PRED FORTE) was used as a positive control. Mice were sacrificed after 3 days, and corneas were examined by in vivo confocal microscopy and analyzed for infiltrated cells by flow cytometry. Gr-1, TNF-α, and pNF-κB-p65 were detected immunohistochemically, and TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β levels were quantified by ELISA. Results. LPS-induced haze in mice corneas was decreased by 2-fold upon EP treatment; however, it was not changed upon PRED FORTE treatment. Flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry showed infiltration of leukocytes in the LPS-treated corneas; among the infiltrated cells, neutrophils (Gr-1+ and CD11b+) and macrophages (F4/80+ and CD11b+) were 3403.4- and 4.5-fold higher in number, respectively, than in vehicle-treated control corneas. EP or PRED FORTE treatment of LPS-injected corneas decreased the number of neutrophils 7.5- and 7.2-fold and macrophages by 5.6- and 3.5-fold, respectively. Both EP and PRED FORTE decreased TNF-α and IL-6 expression considerably, and to a lesser extent IL-1β expression, in the LPS-treated corneas. Conclusions. The present study demonstrated that EP reduces LPS-induced inflammation in the cornea and thus may have a potential therapeutic application in the inhibition of corneal inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6589-6599
Number of pages11
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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