Unoprostone isopropyl ester darkens iris color in pigmented rabbits with sympathetic denervation

Gui Lin Zhan, Carol B. Toris, Jane L. Meza, Carl B. Camras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Unoprostone isopropyl ester (unoprostone)-induced iris color darkening was evaluated in a rabbit model using a cyclooxygenase inhibitor, an α1-adrenergic antagonist, and sympathetic denervation. Materials and Methods: Dutch-belted rabbits were divided into five groups based on type of surgery and eyedrop treatment to both eyes: (1) sham surgery (n = 7) ; (2) bilateral superior cervical ganglionectomy (SCGx, n = 7); (3) SCGx SCGX plus flurbiprofen 0.03% (n = 7); (4) SCGx plus thymoxamine 0.5% (n = 6); and (5) SCGx plus flurbiprofen and thymoxamine (n = 6). All rabbits were treated with unoprostone 0.12% to one eye and its vehicle to the contralateral eye twice daily for 43 weeks after SCGx. Periodic color photographs of paired eyes were scored for difference in eye color. Iris melanin and aqueous humor protein were measured at week 43. Results: Twenty-three of the 26 rabbits with bilateral SCGx and unilateral unoprostone treatment demonstrated a darker iris color on the unoprostone-treated side. The average scores (demonstrating difference in iris color) comparing photographs of treated versus control eyes in the four SCGx groups were higher than those in the sham surgery group (P < 0.03), and higher than at week 0 (P < 0.001). The group pretreated with flurbiprofen and thymoxamine had the highest score of all groups. The aqueous humor protein in unoprostone-treated eyes was higher (P ≤ 0.0001) than in vehicle-treated eyes. The melanin content of irides of the denervated groups was higher (P≤ 0.01) in unoprostone-treated than in vehicle-treated eyes. Conclusion: Unoprostone produced iris color darkening in pigmented rabbit eyes with sympathetic denervation. Pretreatment with flurbiprofen and thymoxamine appeared to enhance this effect but this was not statistically demonstrated by the study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-389
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Glaucoma
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2003


  • Adrenergic antagonists
  • Aqueous humor
  • Cyclooxygenase inhibitors
  • Iris
  • Prostaglandins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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