Cytostatic and cytotoxic effects of 5-fluorouracil on human corneal epithelial cells and keratocytes

Edoardo Midena, Daniela Lazzarini, Anton Giulio Catania, Erika Moretto, Iva Fregona, Raffaele Parrozzani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To investigate the effects of various 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) concentrations, exposure times, and application techniques on in vitro-cultured human corneal cells. METHODS: Human corneal epithelial cell (HCEC) and human corneal keratocyte (HCK) cultures were exposed to different 5-FU concentrations (0.025%-1%) and incubation durations (5 minutes to 2 hours). The cytostatic effect was evaluated as the percentage of inhibition of migration relative to the control. The evaluation of cytotoxic effect included both phase contrast microscopic observations and viability measures performed using an MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide)] colorimetric assay. The results are expressed as ratio of optical density (OD) reduction 24 hours after exposure. RESULTS: The cytostatic effect was time and dose dependent. The 50% inhibiting dose was 0.55% after 1 hour of incubation for HCECs and was 0.5% after 2 hours of incubation for HCKs. A 100% inhibitory effect was never observed at any concentration or incubation duration. No cytotoxic changes were observed using an 5-FU concentration of

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-344
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • 5-fluorouracil
  • cell cultures
  • corneal epithelial cells
  • keratocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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