97th DOG Annual Meeting 1999



J. Kriegsch, U. Pleyer, P. Rieck

The clinical application of Nd:YAG-capsulotomy for the treatment of secondary cataract has proven its efficiency, however, the incidence of side effects due to destruction of the posterior capsule increases significantly. New approaches thus focus on a pharmacological therapy to prevent posterior capsule opacification but respecting its integrity. In this study, we investigated the effect of the naphthylurea suramin in vitro in a cell culture model.

Material and methods: Human lens epithelial cells (HLEC) isolated from lens capsules of cornea donors were cultured in DMEM+10% VCS until they reached confluency. After reduction of serum content (5%), a central circular "wound" (5 mm diameter) was made on these monolayers by means of a modified hand trephine. In order to establish a dose-response curve, cultures were incubated with different concentrations of suramin (0,1; 0,5; 1; 3 and 5 mM) over varying incubaton times (1-120 hours for each concentration). Unsupplemented cultures served as controls. After 5 days, the number of cells that had migrated into the denuded area was determined by counting. Analysis of suramin toxicity was carried out using trypan blue staining.

Results: A dose-dependent significant effect of suramin on the inhibition of HLEC migration was found even after short (1-3 h) incubation times. Higher doses (>3mM) additionally revealed cell lysis. Morphological changes of confluent corneal endothelial cells after incubation with suramin became visible only with doses >5mM and incubation times longer than 70 hours.

Conclusion: These results demonstrate the efficiency of suramin in vitro to inhibit migration of HLEC which can be explained by blocking growth factor-mediated effects on the cells. The use of suramin represents an interesting perspective in pharmacological prevention of secondary cataract. Further investigations on the pharmacokinetic properties of suramin and possible side effects on other intraocular tissues must follow.

Dpt. of Ophthalmology, Charité, Campus Virchow Klinikum, Augustenburger Platz 1, D-13353 Berlin Supported by DFG Ri 56813-2