Optimal concentration of human epidermal growth factor (hEGF) for epithelial healing in experimental corneal alkali wounds

M. J. Kim, R. M. Jun, W. K. Kim, H. J. Hann, Y. H. Chong, H. Y. Park, J. H. Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose. By using bothin vivo andin vitro (organ-cultured) systems, the optimal concentrations of hEGF to enhance epithelial healing after alkali wounds were evaluated in the rabbit cornea. Methods. Alkali-injured corneas (φ = 5.5 mm, 1 N NaOH, 60 s) were treated with 0.01, 0.1, 1.0, 10 and 100 ng/ml hEGF for thein vitro study. The healing of epithelium and endothelium was determined at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 days after treatment. For thein vivo experiment, the eyes were treated with 2, 5, 10, and 50 mg/ml hEGF 3 times per day. The measurement of epithelial healing rate, transmission electron microscopy and immunohistochemical observation were performed after 7 days treatment. Results. In in vitro tests, hEGF enhanced the epithelial healing rates, showing a maximum enhancement at the concentration of 1.0 ng/ml, and endothelial healing was increased at 100 ng/ml. In in vivo studies, no significant difference was observed in the rates of epithelial healing between control and each hEGF-treated group. Among the tested concentrations, 5 μg/ml hEGF induced the most active proliferation of basal cells and 50 μg/ml hEGF remarkably produced a vascular ingrowth to the central wound area. The thickness of re-surfaced epithelium was increased by hEGF in a concentration-dependent manner. Conclusions. The results of the present study indicate that a low concentration of hEGF may selectively enhance epithelial healing without affecting endothelial healing. The optimal concentration of hEGF for the stimulation of epithelial healing appears to be 5 μg/ml in rabbit corneal alkali wounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-279
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Eye Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkali wound
  • Cornea
  • Epidermal growth factor (EGF)
  • Epithelial healing
  • Rabbit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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