Anti-fibrotic activity of a rho-kinase inhibitor restores outflow function and intraocular pressure homeostasis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Glucocorticoids are widely used as an ophthalmic medication. A common, sight-threatening adverse event of glucocorticoid usage is ocular hypertension, caused by dysfunction of the conventional outflow pathway. We report that netarsudil, a rho-kinase inhibitor, decreased glucocorticoid-induced ocular hypertension in patients whose intraocular pressures were poorly controlled by standard medications. Mechanistic studies in our established mouse model of glucocorticoid-induced ocular hypertension show that netarsudil both prevented and reduced intraocular pressure elevation. Further, netarsudil attenuated characteristic steroid-induced pathologies as assessed by quantification of outflow function and tissue stiffness, and morphological and immunohistochemical indicators of tissue fibrosis. Thus, rho-kinase inhibitors act directly on conventional outflow cells to prevent or attenuate fibrotic disease processes in glucocorticoid-induced ocular hypertension in an immune-privileged environment. Moreover, these data motivate the need for a randomized prospective clinical study to determine whether netarsudil is indeed superior to first-line anti-glaucoma drugs in lowering steroid-induced ocular hypertension.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Li, G; Lee, C; Read, AT; Wang, K; Ha, J; Kuhn, M; Navarro, I; Cui, J; Young, K; Gorijavolu, R; Sulchek, T; Kopczynski, C; Farsiu, S; Samples, J; Challa, P; Ethier, CR; Stamer, WD

Published Date

  • March 30, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 /

PubMed ID

  • 33783352

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8009676

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2050-084X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.7554/eLife.60831


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England