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November 1994

Rapamycin Inhibits Corneal Allograft Rejection and Neovascularization

Author Affiliations

From the Cornea Service, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. The authors have no commercial or proprietary interest in the product or company discussed in this report.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1994;112(11):1471-1475. doi:10.1001/archopht.1994.01090230085026

Objective:  To investigate the immunosuppresive effect of rapamycin in prolonging allograft survival in the rat model of orthotopic allogeneic penetrating keratoplasty.

Design:  Thirty inbred Lewis rats received corneal allografts from Brown Norway donors. Animals were divided into two rapamycin treatment groups and one allogeneic control group.

Results:  By the second week after surgery, all of the control animals had experienced allograft failure due to allograft rejection. However, allografts in seven of 10 animals in the low-dose treatment group and allografts in seven of nine animals in the high-dose treatment group remained clear. In addition, corneal neovascularization was markedly reduced in the treated animals.

Conclusion:  The systemic administration of rapamycin prolongs corneal allograft survival and significantly inhibits the neovascular component of rejection in the rat model of orthotopic allogeneic penetrating keratoplasty.

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