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2018 Agenda and Abstracts | < Previous Next >

2018 OMIG Abstract

Alpha-MSH Pretreatment Attenuates Corneal Endothelium Morphometric Changes in Eye Bank-stored Corneas in the Presence of Acute Oxidative Stress

Zala Luznik, MD, PhD, Zhoungmou Sun, BA, Jia Yin, MD, PhD, Afsaneh Amouzegar, MD,
Clotilde Jumelle, PhD, and Reza Dana MD, MSc, MPH
Schepens Eye Research Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA


Purpose: To evaluate the preventive cytoprotective effect of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (a-MSH), a neuropeptide present in human aqueous humor, on corneal endothelium (CE) survival in the presence of acute oxidative stress in eye bank-stored human corneas using specular microscopy image quality assessment.

Methods: A pilot in vitro study was conducted using paired research grade human donor corneas (courtesy of Eversight Eye Bank). Randomly selected corneas from each pair were pretreated with either 10-4M or no a-MSH in Optisol-GS (15 minutes, at 37°C) and then subjected to 1.4 mM H2O2 in PBS (15 minutes, at 37°C) treatment. Corneas were then transferred to Optisol-GS medium and stored at 4°C. Images were taken at baseline and repeated twice per week using CellChekD+ specular microscope. The endothelial morphometric parameters [cell density (ECD), coefficient of variation (CV) and % hexagonality (HEX)] and corneal pachymetry were recorded.

Results: The baseline morphometric parameters and pachymetry were comparable between both groups (paired t-test, all p > 0.05). CE cell loss over the first two weeks was lower (n=4; day 5: 8.2±4.6%, day 7: 16.7±11.5%, day 14: 53.2±27.1%) in the a-MSH group compared to the control group (n=4; day 5: 15.6±8.4%, day 7: 38.9±23.9%, day 14: 55.6±25.7%) although this was not statistically significant (p=0.0625; Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Test). The CV and %HEX at all measurement periods fluctuated in both groups, with an upward and a downward trend, respectively. Pachymetry increased in both groups over the 14 days, but to a significantly less degree in the a-MSH group (p=0.039; Paired t-test). Under fluorescence microscopy using a live–dead viability assay a higher % of Propidium Iodide+ (dead) cells were observed for the control untreated corneas (p=0.03, n=2, paired t-test).

Conclusion: a-MSH pre-treatment of donor corneas attenuates CE loss and pachymetry changes during storage after acute oxidative stress induction. Supplementation of corneal storage medium with a-MSH may prolong hypothermic tissue storage time and lead to higher quality graft tissue.

Disclosure: N (ZS, JY, AA, CJ); S (ZL; EBAA); C, S (RD=Shire) S (RD; Allergan, NEI, Eversight); C (RD; Dompe)

Support: EBAA/Richard Lindstrom Research Grant (to ZL), Eversight (to RD).


2018 Agenda and Abstracts | < Previous Next >