The effect of resveratrol on protecting corneal epithelial cells from cytotoxicity caused by moxifloxacin and benzalkonium chloride

Tzu Yun Tsai, Ta Ching Chen, I. Jong Wang, Chao Yuan Yeh, Ming Jai Su, Ruey Hua Chen, Tzu Hsun Tsai, Fung Rong Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. Moxifloxacin (MOX), a fourth generation fluoroquinolone (FQ), has a wide antibacterial spectrum, but may show cytotoxicity characterized by high productions of reactive oxygen species (ROS). This study investigated the protective role of a common antioxidant agent, resveratrol (trans-3,5,40-trihydroxystilbene), against the cytotoxicity caused by MOX. METHODS. Experiments were performed with a human corneal epithelial cell line (HCECs; ATCC-CRL-11515). Another commonly used FQ, levofloxacin (LEV), and the most commonly used preservatives, benzalkonium chloride (BAC), were also used for comparison with MOX. Cell viability and morphologic changes after treatment were evaluated with trypan blue exclusion assay, propidium iodine/annexin V-FITC staining, and flow cytometry. Chemilumi- nescence immunoassay was used for ROS quantification. MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5- diphenyltetrazolium bromide] assay, wound healing assay, and intracellular detections of oxidative stress were performed to evaluate the effects of resveratrol. RESULTS. The MOX group, similar to the BAC group, showed significant cell shrinkage and death compared with the LEV group. High ROS production in HCECs of MOX group was observed both by chemiluminescence immunoassay and intracellular images. Within the observations of MTS [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazoli- um] assay, live cell images, and wound healing process in vitro, the cytotoxic effects of the MOX and BAC groups were opposed by resveratrol. Human corneal epithelial cells pretreated with resveratrol demonstrated better cell viability and healing rate in the early stage. CONCLUSIONS. The protective effects of antioxidant agents indicate that MOX, similar to BAC, causes oxidative stress-related cell damage. The results also inspired us to think about a ‘‘supplementary regimen’’ to increase safety and decrease the adverse effect in the treatment of corneal infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1575-1584
Number of pages10
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Corneal epithelium
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Moxifloxacin
  • ROS
  • Resveratrol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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