Chlorine-Induced Toxicity on Murine Cornea: Exploring the Potential Therapeutic Role of Antioxidants

Cells. 2024 Mar 5;13(5):458. doi: 10.3390/cells13050458.


Chlorine (Cl2) exposure poses a significant risk to ocular health, with the cornea being particularly susceptible to its corrosive effects. Antioxidants, known for their ability to neutralize reactive oxygen species (ROS) and alleviate oxidative stress, were explored as potential therapeutic agents to counteract chlorine-induced damage. In vitro experiments using human corneal epithelial cells showed decreased cell viability by chlorine-induced ROS production, which was reversed by antioxidant incubation. The mitochondrial membrane potential decreased due to both low and high doses of Cl2 exposure; however, it was recovered through antioxidants. The wound scratch assay showed that antioxidants mitigated impaired wound healing after Cl2 exposure. In vivo and ex vivo, after Cl2 exposure, increased corneal fluorescein staining indicates damaged corneal epithelial and stromal layers of mice cornea. Likewise, Cl2 exposure in human ex vivo corneas led to corneal injury characterized by epithelial fluorescein staining and epithelial erosion. However, antioxidants protected Cl2-induced damage. These results highlight the effects of Cl2 on corneal cells using in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo models while also underscoring the potential of antioxidants, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, resveratrol, and melatonin, as protective agents against acute chlorine toxicity-induced corneal injury. Further investigation is needed to confirm the antioxidants’ capacity to alleviate oxidative stress and enhance the corneal healing process.

PMID:38474422 | DOI:10.3390/cells13050458