Novel combination therapy reduces subconjunctival fibrosis after glaucoma filtration surgery in the rabbit model.
Glaucoma filtration surgery (GFS) is limited by subconjunctival, episcleral and scleral fibrosis sealing the trabeculectomy and scarring the filtering bleb. Mitomycin-C (MMC) is commonly applied intraoperatively to the subconjunctival and/or intrascleral space to reduce scarring and promotes GFS success but is associated with postoperative scleral melting and bleb leaks. IP-10 peptide (IP-10p), an ELR-negative CXC chemokine mimetic and inhibitor of fibroblast function, may be an alternative or adjunct to current postoperative GFS treatments. This study sought to determine if IP-10p produces histological changes in tissue remodelling, vascularity and fibrosis that enhance bleb survival after GFS.Rabbits underwent tube-assisted filtration surgery on the right eye with either: (a) IP-10p injected into bleb at time of surgery and postoperative days 2, 4 and 7, (b) intraoperative MMC or (c) intraoperative MMC plus IP-10p injected into bleb at time of surgery and postoperative days 2, 4 and 7. Left contralateral eyes were treated with balanced salt solution (BSS).IP-10p-treated blebs demonstrated reduced collagen deposition, cellularity and overall reduction of scar formation compared to BSS-control. Bleb vascularity was reduced compared to BSS-control and MMC treatment groups. Additionally, IP-10p/MMC treated eyes demonstrated an increased number of conjunctival goblet cells in bleb histology compared to the dramatic loss seen with MMC treatment alone.This study demonstrates that IP-10p significantly reduces histological scarring compared to BSS or MMC alone, does not damage the conjunctiva to the extent of current standards, and may be an alternative or adjunct to MMC for those undergoing GFS.