To investigate the potential of the Link_TSG6 polypeptide comprising the Link module of human TSG-6 (TNF-stimulated gene/protein-6) as a novel treatment for dry eye disease (DED).
We analyzed the therapeutic effects of topical application of Link_TSG6 in two murine models of DED, the NOD.B10.H2 mouse model and the desiccating stress model. The effects of Link_TSG6 on the ocular surface and DED were compared with those of full-length TSG-6 (FL_TSG6) and of 0.05% cyclosporine (Restasis®). Additionally, the direct effect of Link_TSG6 on wound healing of the corneal epithelium was evaluated in a mouse model of corneal epithelial debridement.
Topical Link_TSG6 administration dose-dependently reduced corneal epithelial defects in DED mice while increasing tear production and conjunctival goblet cell density. At the highest dose, no corneal lesions remained in ∼50% of eyes treated. Also, Link_TSG6 significantly suppressed the levels of inflammatory cytokines at the ocular surface and inhibited the infiltration of T cells in the lacrimal glands and draining lymph nodes. Link_TSG6 was more effective in decreasing corneal epithelial defects than an equimolar concentration of FL_TSG6. Link_TSG6 was significantly more potent than Restasis® at ameliorating clinical signs and reducing inflammation. Link_TSG6 markedly and rapidly facilitated epithelial healing in mice with corneal epithelial debridement wounds.
Link_TSG6 holds promise as a novel therapeutic agent for DED through its effects on the promotion of corneal epithelial healing and tear secretion, the preservation of conjunctival goblet cells and the suppression of inflammation.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.