Objective To develop an in vitro model of uveitis based on an ex situ perfused eye to evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity of new pharmacological products.
Procedure Eyes were removed from more than 60 dogs and 9 horses immediately after euthanasia and perfused with nutrient medium through the lateral long ciliary artery. Perfused eyes produced aqueous humour, and perfusion pressure was adjusted to obtain an intraocular pressure in the physiological range. When the eyes were treated with histamine, a complement C5a analogue peptide and hydrogen peroxide, typical signs of uveitis were produced. These included miosis, vascular leakage, reduced intraocular pressure, reduced flow of perfusate and, in some eyes, conjunctival oedema.
Results Canine eyes showed a decrease in intraocular pressure and a decrease in perfusate flow rate when challenged with 100 μmol/L hydrogen peroxide. Flunixin meglumine (5 μmol/L), ketoprofen (5 μmol/L), indomethacin (5 μmol/L) as well as a new drug pirfenidone (10 μmol/L) prevented changes in intraocular pressure induced by hydrogen peroxide, but did not significantly moderate the mediator-induced changes in perfusate flow.
Conclusions This model is suitable for evaluating potential anti-inflammatory activity of drugs without having to induce uveitis in an experimental animal. The technique is suitable for species that range in size from cats to horses.