Grant Abstract: Dietary Supplement of n-3 PUFA to Control Corneal Inflammation (Sphingolipids and their Impact in Corneal Wound Healing)

Grant Number: 3R01EY031316-02S1
PI Name: Mandal
Project Title: Dietary Supplement of n-3 PUFA to Control Corneal Inflammation (Sphingolipids and their Impact in Corneal Wound Healing)

Abstract: Cornea being the outer most tissue in the eye suffers regular injuries from corneal abrasions, puncture wounds, chemical and thermal burns that induce corneal inflammation. Corneal inflammation is also integral to genetic diseases like keratoconus, long-term wearing of contact lenses, and surgical corneal transplantation. Imbalances in inflammation and improper wound-healing (resolution) causes corneal scar and neovascularization (NV) that leads to blindness. Up to one fourth of all cases of blindness worldwide are attributable to corneal opacities generated by scarring, or fibrosis, representing a huge economic and societal burden. The primary cause of corneal fibrosis development is defective wound healing process due to imbalances in the inflammation and its resolution. Currently, there is no FDA-approved drug that facilitates proper corneal wound healing. We hypothesize that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) from Fish Oil dietary supplementation will inhibit corneal fibrosis and NV by reducing chronic inflammation and augmenting resolution and wound-healing. During inflammation and tissue healing, it is the N-3 PUFAs (such as eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, DHA) that generates several bioactive lipid mediators (such as resolvins, neuroprotectins and maresins) that play essential roles in resolution of inflammation and tissue healing. Although substantial research data is available regarding the benefits of n-3 PUFAs (DHA and EPA) in many human systemic diseases, the role of n-3 PUFAs in corneal healing and restoration of vision has not been studied. We propose to determine the efficacy of dietary supplementation of n-3 PUFA from OmegaRx2 Fish Oil (Zone Labs) to prevent corneal scar and NV in mouse model of corneal injuries. We anticipate our study will ultimately translate in to human augmentative dietary supplement of n-3 PUFAs to help balance the inflammation and improve the resolution and wound-healing in the corneas that are prone to develop scar and NV due to underlying genetic causes, contact lens wearing or corneal transplantation surgery and thus will prevent formation of permanent scar and blindness.

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