Treatments for refractory glaucoma include trabeculectomy, in which a filtering bleb is created to reduce aqueous pressure. Mitomycin C (MMC) is often used as an adjuvant to reduce post-trabeculectomy bleb scarring and consequent failure. However, scarring sometimes still occurs. Thus, we searched for more effective trabeculectomy adjuvants with high-throughput screening (HTS) of a library of 1,165 off-patent drug compounds. This revealed that amsacrine (AMSA), a DNA topoisomerase II (TOP2) inhibitor, was the top candidate. Compared to MMC, rabbits that underwent trabeculectomy with 10% AMSA had lower IOP at 42, 56, and 70 days (P < 0.01 at all measurement points) and a higher bleb score at 28, 42, 56, and 70 days (P = < 0.01, 0.04, 0.04, and < 0.01, respectively). Compared to saline, rabbits that received 1% AMSA also had lower IOP and better bleb score at all time points, without a sharp drop in IOP just after surgery (all P < 0.01). Both effects were milder than MMC at 7 days (P = 0.02 and <0.01, respectively). Thus, this study showed that HTS may help identify new, promising uses for off-patent drugs. Furthermore, trabeculectomy with AMSA at a suitable concentration may improve the prognosis after trabeculectomy compared to MMC.
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