Coadministration with carbidopa enhances the antimyopic effects of levodopa in chickens

Kate Thomson, Ian Morgan, Tamsin Kelly, Cindy Karouta, Regan Ashby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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PURPOSE. Topical application of levodopa inhibits the development of form-deprivation myopia (FDM) and lens-induced myopia (LIM) in chicks. Here we examine whether coadministration with carbidopa enhances this protection and compare the effectiveness of topical versus systemic administration. We also investigate the degree to which topical and systemic administration of these compounds alters retinal dopamine release and examine whether this is the mechanism by which they inhibit experimental myopia. METHODS. Levodopa and levodopa:carbidopa (at a 4:1 ratio) were administered as twice-daily eye drops or once-daily intraperitoneal injections to chicks developing FDM or LIM over an ascending dose range. Axial length and refraction were measured following 4 days of treatment. Dopamine levels in the vitreous and blood were analyzed using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry following topical or systemic administration of levodopa or levodopa:carbidopa. Finally, chicks receiving topical or systemic levodopa or levodopa:carbidopa were cotreated with the dopamine antagonist spiperone. RESULTS. Levodopa:carbidopa inhibited the development of FDM and LIM to a greater extent than levodopa alone (P < 0.05). Topical application was more effective than systemic administration (P < 0.001). Vitreal dopamine levels were increased to the greatest extent by topical application of levodopa:carbidopa (P < 0.001). Systemic but not topical administration significantly increased dopamine levels within the blood (P < 0.01). Cotreatment with spiperone inhibited the antimyopic effects (P < 0.05) of levodopa and levodopa:carbidopa. CONCLUSIONS. The presence of carbidopa increases the bioavailability of levodopa within the eye, enhancing its antimyopic effects, with topical application showing the greatest efficacy. Thus levodopa:carbidopa may be a promising treatment for controlling the progression of human myopia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


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