The objectives of this study were to develop stable cyclosporine A (CsA) ophthalmic micelle solutions for dry-eye syndrome and evaluate their physicochemical properties and therapeutic efficacy.
CsA-micelle solutions (MS-CsA) were created by a simple method with Cremophor EL, ethanol, and phosphate buffer. We investigated the particle size, pH, and osmolarity. In addition, long-term physical and chemical stability for MS-CsA was observed. To confirm the therapeutic efficacy, tear production in dry eye-induced rabbits was evaluated using the Schirmer tear test (STT). When compared to a commercial product, Restasis, MS-CsA demonstrated improvement in goblet-cell density and conjunctival epithelial morphology, as demonstrated in histological hematoxylin and eosin staining.
MS-CsA had a smaller particle size (average diameter 14–18 nm) and a narrow size distribution. Physicochemical parameters, such as particle size, pH, osmolarity, and remaining CsA concentration were all within the expected range of 60 days. STT scores significantly improved in MS-CsA treated groups ( P<0.05) in comparison to those of the Restasis-treated group. The number of goblet cells for rabbit conjunctivas after the administration of MS-CsA was 94.83±8.38, a significantly higher result than the 65.17±11.51 seen with Restasis. The conjunctival epithelial morphology of dry eye-induced rabbits thinned with loss of goblet cells. However, after 5 days of treatment with drug formulations, rabbit conjunctivas recovered epithelia and showed a relative increase in the number of goblet cells.