PURPOSE: To investigate the effect of benzalkonium chloride (BAK)-preserved latanoprost and bimatoprost, polyquad (PQ)-preserved travoprost, and preservative-free (PF) latanoprost and tafluprost, all prostaglandin analogues (PGAs), on human conjunctival goblet cell (GC) survival. Furthermore, to investigate the effect of BAK-preserved and PF latanoprost on the cytokine secretion from GC.
METHODS: Primary human conjunctival GCs were cultivated from donor tissue. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and tetrazolium dye colorimetric (MTT) assays were used for the assessment of GC survival. A cytometric bead array was employed for measuring secretion of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 from GC.
RESULTS: BAK-preserved latanoprost and bimatoprost reduced cell survival by 28% (p = 0.0133) and 20% (p = 0.0208), respectively, in the LDH assay compared to a negative control. BAK-preserved latanoprost reduced cell proliferation by 54% (p = 0.003), BAK-preserved bimatoprost by 45% (p = 0.006), PQ-preserved travoprost by 16% (p = 0.0041), and PF latanoprost by 19% (p = 0.0001), in the MTT assay compared to a negative control. Only PF tafluprost did not affect the GCs in either assay. BAK-preserved latanoprost caused an increase in the secretion of pro-inflammatory IL-6 and IL-8 (p = 0.0001 and p = 0.0019, respectively) compared to a negative control, which PF latanoprost did not.
CONCLUSION: BAK-preserved PGA eye drops were more cytotoxic to GCs than PQ-preserved and PF PGA eye drops. BAK-preserved latanoprost induced an inflammatory response in GC. Treatment with PF and PQ-preserved PGA eye drops could mean better tolerability and adherence in glaucoma patients compared to treatment with BAK-preserved PGA eye drops.