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26.06.2017 | Laboratory Investigation | Ausgabe 5/2017

Japanese Journal of Ophthalmology 5/2017

Effects of ripasudil hydrochloride hydrate (K-115), a Rho-kinase inhibitor, on ocular blood flow and ciliary artery smooth muscle contraction in rabbits

Japanese Journal of Ophthalmology > Ausgabe 5/2017
Yusuke Ohta, Sanae Takaseki, Takeshi Yoshitomi



Ripasudil, a Rho-associated coiled-coil-containing protein kinase (ROCK) inhibitor, is a novel drug for glaucoma in Japan. ROCK inhibition not only reduces intraocular pressure (IOP) but also increases ocular blood flow. We investigated the effects of ripasudil on optic disc blood flow (ODBF) in rabbit eyes and in isolated rabbit ciliary arteries.


We measured IOP by tonometry and ODBF by laser speckle flowgraphy (LSFG) in male Dutch rabbits. A single drop (20 μL) of 0.8% ripasudil was delivered to the ocular surface after topical application of phenylephrine hydrochloride to reduce the ODBF. The effects of ripasudil on isolated rabbit ciliary artery smooth muscle contractions were measured in vitro with a myograph.


Ripasudil inhibited the reduction of ODBF induced by phenylephrine at 30 and 120 min after instillation (P < .05). The blood flow change was not significantly correlated with the IOP change. Ripasudil induced a concentration-dependent relaxation in isolated rabbit ciliary arteries precontracted with a high-potassium solution. This relaxation was not mediated through the endothelium-dependent activities of nitric oxide synthase, prostacyclin, or the large-conductance calcium-activated K+ channel as shown by the inability of specific inhibitors of these pathways to block the ripasudil-induced relaxation.


Taken together, our results showed that ripasudil not only decreased IOP but also increased ODBF in rabbits. However, the changes in IOP were not correlated with the changes in ODBF. Ripasudil also induced a concentration-dependent relaxation of isolated rabbit ciliary arteries through a NO-independent mechanism. Further investigation of the effect of ripasudil on ODBF is needed.

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