Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Honey Helps Treat Inflammation, Infection of Cornea

The Use of Topical Honey in the Treatment of Corneal Abrasions and Endotoxin-Induced Keratitis in an Animal Model
Curr Eye Res, 2011 Aug 3

Purpose: To investigate the effect of topically applied honey on intact corneas, surgically induced corneal abrasions and endotoxin induced keratitis.

Materials and Methods: The effect of honey on the cornea was investigated by application of honey on intact corneas, wounded corneas and endotoxin-induced keratitis in Lewis rats. The corneas were wounded by creating an epithelial defect using a surgical blade, and the keratitis was induced by topically applying Pseudomonas aeruginosa endotoxin to scarified corneas.

After treatment rats were sacrificed and cornea harvested in each case. Corneas were processed for paraffin embedding for histological and immuno-fluorescence staining. Corneas were also harvested and processed for total ribonucleic acid (RNA) isolation for reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis for various growth factors and inflammatory chemokines/cytokines).

Results: Histological analysis revealed that no inflammation or morphological changes occurred after honey treatment in naive intact corneas. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels were also not altered after honey treatment. Topical application of honey to injured corneas resulted in faster epithelial healing and decreased expression of VEGF, transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), interferon gamma (IFN-γ), interleukin 12 (IL-12) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in injured corneas.

Our results also established that honey treatment reduced the inflammation in endotoxin-induced keratitis by reducing the levels of angiogenic factors (VEGF and TGF-β), inflammatory cytokines (IL-12) and chemokines (CC chemokine receptor 5(CCR-5)).

Conclusion: Short term use of honey on intact corneas can be safe. Honey has anti-angiogenic and anti-inflammatory properties that can be explored in several corneal inflammatory and infectious conditions.

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