Isorhamnetin ameliorates dry eye disease via cftr activation in mice

Ho K. Lee, Jinhong Park, Bo Rahm Kim, Ikhyun Jun, Tae Im Kim, Wan Namkung

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Dry eye disease is one of the most common diseases, with increasing prevalence in many countries, but treatment options are limited. Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is a major ion channel that facilitates fluid secretion in ocular surface epithelium and is a potential target of therapeutic agent for the treatment of dry eye disease. In this study, we performed a cell-based, high-throughput screening for the identification of novel natural products that activate CFTR and restore the aqueous deficiency in dry eye. Screening of 1000 natural products revealed isorhamnetin, a flavonol aglycone, as a novel CFTR activator. Electrophysiological studies showed that isorhamnetin significantly increased CFTR chloride current, both wild type and ∆F508-CFTR. Isorhamnetin did not alter intracellular cAMP levels and the activity of other ion channels, including ANO1, ENaC, and hERG. Notably, application of isorhamnetin on mouse ocular surface induced CFTR activation and increased tear volume. In addition, isorhamnetin significantly reduced ocular surface damage and expression of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in an experimental mouse model of dry eye. These data suggest that isorhamnetin may be used to treat dry eye disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3954
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by a Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education NRF (2015R1D1A1A01057695 and 2018R1A6A1A03023718) to Wan Namkung, and NRF (2017R1A6A3A11031453 and 2020R1C1C100 8332) to Jinhong Park.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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