Differential Efficacy of Small Molecules Dynasore and Mdivi-1 for the Treatment of Dry Eye Epitheliopathy or as a Countermeasure for Nitrogen Mustard Exposure of the Ocular Surface

J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2023 Jul 13:JPET-AR-2023-001697. doi: 10.1124/jpet.123.001697. Online ahead of print.


The ocular surface comprises the wet mucosal epithelia of the cornea and conjunctiva, the associated glands, and the overlying tear film. Epitheliopathy is the common pathological outcome when the ocular surface is subjected to oxidative stress. Whether different stresses act via the same or different mechanisms is not known. Dynasore and dyngo-4a, small molecules developed to inhibit the GTPase activity of classic dynamins DNM1, DNM2 and DNM3, but not mdivi-1, a specific inhibitor of DNM1L, protect corneal epithelial cells exposed to the oxidant tert-butyl hydroperoxide (tBHP). Here we report that, while dyngo-4a is a more potent inhibitor of endocytosis than dynasore, dynasore is a better cytoprotectant. Dynasore also protects corneal epithelial cells against exposure to high salt in an in vitro model of dysfunctional tears in dry eye. We now validate this finding in vivo, demonstrating that dynasore protects against epitheliopathy in a mouse model of dry eye. Knockdown of classic dynamin DNM2 was also cytoprotective against tBHP exposure, suggesting that dynasore’s effect is at least partially on-target. Like tBHP and high salt, exposure of corneal epithelial cells to nitrogen mustard upregulated the unfolded protein response (UPR) and inflammatory markers, but dynasore did not protect against nitrogen mustard exposure. In contrast, mdivi-1 was cytoprotective nitrogen mustard exposure. Interestingly, mdivi-1 did not inhibit the nitrogen mustard-induced expression of inflammatory cytokines. We conclude that exposure to tBHP or nitrogen mustard, two different oxidative stress agents, cause corneal epitheliopathy via different pathological pathways. Significance Statement Results presented in this paper, for the first time, implicate the dynamin DNM2 in ocular surface epitheliopathy. The findings suggest that dynasore could serve as a new topical treatment for dry eye epitheliopathy and that mdivi-1 could serve as a medical countermeasure for epitheliopathy due to nitrogen mustard exposure, with potentially increased efficacy when combined with anti-inflammatory agents and/or UPR modulators.

PMID:37442618 | DOI:10.1124/jpet.123.001697