Cytotoxic and inflammatory effects of contact lens solutions on human corneal epithelial cells in vitro
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PURPOSE: To ascertain the effect that four contact lens (CL) multipurpose solutions (MPS) have on the viability and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines from human corneal epithelial cells (HCEC). METHODS: HCEC were exposed to four different MPS at various concentrations for 18 hours. The cells were also exposed to phosphate buffer, borate buffer, and PHMB. The cell viability was evaluated using the alamarBlue assay. The release of pro-inflammatory cytokines was measured using a Multiplex electrochemiluminescent assay. RESULTS: MPS-A, MPS-B and MPS-C all reduced cell metabolic activity p < 0.05 from control with MPS-A showing the greatest cytotoxic effect (maximum reduction, 90.6%). In contrast, MPS-D showed no significant reductions in cytotoxicity except at the highest concentration tested (19% reduction at 20% MPS concentration). Of the four cytokines evaluated MPS-C showed a substantial increase in the release of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α at higher concentrations when compared to control p < 0.05. At the 20% concentration of MPS-A and MPS-B the release of IL-1 β increased p < 0.05 but the release of IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α decreased. MPS-D did not cause a change in the release of cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α p > 0.05. Exposing the cells to borate buffer and PHMB caused an increase in the release of TNF-α p < 0.05. CONCLUSIONS: This investigation demonstrates that at different concentration levels, several of the MPS tested showed a decrease in viability and an increase in the release of inflammatory cytokines from HCEC. The borate buffer component as well as PHMB appears to contribute to this pro-inflammatory reaction.