To evaluate the preclinical efficacy of eye drops based on an extract of Artemia salina on the ocular surface of rabbits. Tear secretion, tear break-up time and corneal staining were measured.
A preclinical and short-term prospective study was performed. Twenty New Zealand white rabbits were divided into 5 groups, with 4 rabbits per group, each receiving a different concentration of Artemia salina. In each rabbit, an extract of Artemia salina (2%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10%) was randomly instilled in one eye and saline solution (negative control) in the other eye. Tear secretion, tear break-up time and corneal staining were measured before and after the instillation of 5 drops per eye (1 drop per hour) on the same day.
In tear secretion, there was an increase of 43.88 ± 6.73% with 4% Artemia salina in comparison with its baseline measurement (P = 0.049). The rest of the groups did not show differences (P ≥ 0.05). For tear break-up time, none of the groups showed differences (P ≥ 0.05), while for corneal staining score, there was an improvement of 0.88 ± 0.83 with 4% Artemia salina (P = 0.038) and a deterioration of 0.50 ± 0.83 with control solution (P = 0.008).
Short-term instillation of eye drops with 4% Artemia salina produced both stimulation of tear secretion and a slight improvement of physiological corneal staining. Besides, all the doses of up to 10% Artemia salina did not produce undesirable side effects on the ocular surface. Therefore, these eye drops are presented as a possible new treatment for dry eye due to their secretagogue properties and ocular surface regeneration.