A novel CD147 inhibitor, SP-8356, attenuates pathological fibrosis in alkali-burned rat cornea

Chanmin Joung, Hyojin Noh, Jeein Jung, Hwa Young Song, Hwanse Bae, Kisoo Pahk, Won Ki Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The corneal fibrotic responses to corneal damage often lead to severe corneal opacification thereby resulting in severe visual impairment or even blindness. The persistence of corneal opacity depends heavily on the activity of corneal myofibroblast. Myofibroblasts are opaque and synthesize a disorganized extracellular matrix (ECM) and thus promoting opacification. Cluster of differentiation 147 (CD147), a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily, is known to play important roles in the differentiation process from fibroblast to myofibroblast in damaged cornea and may therefore be an effective target for treatment of corneal opacity. Here, we examined the therapeutic efficacy of novel CD147 inhibiting verbenone derivative SP-8356 ((1S,5R)-4-(3,4-dihydroxy-5-methoxystyryl)-6,6-dimethylbicyclo[3.1.1]hept-3-en-2-one) on corneal fibrosis. Topical SP-8356 significantly reduced corneal haze and fibrosis in the alkali-burned cornea. In detail, SP-8356 inhibited both alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expressing myofibroblast and its ECM-related products, such as matrix-metalloproteinase-9 and collagen type III and IV. Similar to SP-8356, topical corticosteroid (prednisolone acetate, PA) also reduced the ECM-related products and opacification. However, prednisolone acetate failed to decrease the population of α-SMA-positive corneal myofibroblast. In conclusion, SP-8356 is capable enough to prevent corneal haze by preventing pathological fibrosis after severe corneal damage. Therefore, SP-8356 could be a potentially promising therapeutic drug for corneal fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2990
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr 23


  • Alpha-smooth muscle actin
  • Collagen type III
  • Corneal alkali burn
  • Corneal haze
  • MMP-9
  • Matrix-metalloproteinase
  • Myofibroblast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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