Effects of fourth-generation fluoroquinolones on the ocular surface, epithelium, and wound healing

Michael E. Stern, Jianping Gao, Roger W. Beuerman, William Farley, Lucia Zhuo, Peter J. McDonnell, Stephen C. Pflugfelder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To compare the cellular effects of gatifloxacin and moxifloxacin on multidimensional aspects of corneal wound healing. METHODS: Several animal models were used to evaluate the effect of commercial preparations of gatifloxacin ophthalmic solution 0.3% (Zymar) and moxifloxacin ophthalmic solution 0.5% (Vigamox) on the rate and quality of corneal wound healing. These included an in vivo rabbit anterior keratectomy model, a central corneal full-thickness incision model, and a model of the inflammation associated with experimental dry eye in mice. An in vitro normal human conjunctival epithelial cell culture model was also evaluated. RESULTS: Despite the presence of benzalkonium chloride (BAK) in its formulation, gatifloxacin caused less degradation of corneal epithelial barrier function than moxifloxacin did. Moxifloxacin inhibited collagen IV synthesis to a greater extent than did gatifloxacin, and transmission electron microscopy revealed loss of normal structure in the basal lamina of moxifloxacin-treated eyes. Incisional healing in eyes treated with moxifloxacin was slower and more disorganized than in eyes treated with gatifloxacin or vehicle. In the gatifloxacin-treated cultures, the normal human conjunctival cells continued to grow and appeared most like the vehicle-treated cultures. Conversely, moxifloxacin inhibited cell proliferation. CONCLUSION: Taken together, the studies presented here provide evidence that moxifloxacin has a deleterious effect on both the speed and quality of corneal wound healing, whereas gatifloxacin does not. The clinical relevance of these data needs to be evaluated further.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S12-S24
Issue number9 SUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006


  • Cornea
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Gatifloxacin
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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