Tumor necrosis factor-alpha in the vitreous of rabbit eyes with pneumococcal endophthalmitis: Effect of therapy with intravitreal steroid

T. S. Korn, R. V. Vallar, Y. Mittal, N. Hakimian, Susanna Soon Chun Park

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Purpose. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) has been implicated to be the key mediator of inflammation in pneumococcal infections. Since steroid therapy has been shown to markedly reduce the inflammation and tissue destruction associated with pneumococcal endophthalmitis, we investigated the effect of intravitreal steroid therapy on intravitreal TNF-alpha levels in eyes with pneumococcal endophthalmitis treated with antibiotic. Methods. Eyes of albino rabbits were infected with an intravitreal inoculum of Streptococcus pneumoniae (2 × 103 cfu). After 24 hrs, the rabbits were treated with intravitreal vancomycin (1mg) alone or in combination with intravitreal dexamethasone (400 ug). The infected eyes were enucleated 24 or 72 hrs following treatment, and intravitreal TNF-alpha levels were measured using ELISA techniques. Results. TNF-alpha was detected in all eyes. Eyes treated with steroid had a lower average level of TNF-alpha than eyes treated with vancomycin alone both at 24 hrs and 72 hrs following treatment. Conclusions. TNF-alpha is detected in rabbit eyes with pneumococcal endophthalmitis. Intravitreal steroid therapy may decrease the intraocular level of TNF-alpha. Work is in progress to determine the time course and significance of this effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 1996
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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