Purpose: Thymoquinone, one of the biologically active components of black seed oil, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. We aimed to study the effect of thymoquinone on corneal neo- vascularization in rats and to compare its efficacy with that of tri- amcinolone acetonide.
Methods: Chemical cauterization of the cornea was performed with silver nitrate/potassium nitrate sticks in 40 eyes in 40 rats. An examiner blinded to the experiments scored the intensity of the cauterization. Topical instillation of thymoquinone 0.1%, thymoqui- none 0.4%, and triamcinolone acetonide was continued for 7 days. The inhibitory effects of the drugs on corneal neovascularization were tested and compared with each other and with controls with a computer program that evaluates percent areas of cornea covered by neovascularization.
Results: The means of percent area of corneal neovascularization in the thymoquinone 0.1%, thymoquinone 0.4%, triamcinolone aceto- nide, and control groups were 60.1%, 45%, 46%, and 72%, respectively. The inhibitory effect of thymoquinone 0.4% was found to be equal to that of triamcinolone acetonide (P = 0.87). The thymoquinone 0.4% and triamcinolone groups were different from the thymoquinone 0.1% and control groups (P , 0.05). There was also a significant difference between the percent area of corneal neovascularization in the thymoquinone 0.1% group and that of the controls (P , 0.05). The mean burn stimulus intensities were not different among the groups (P = 0.54).
Conclusions: Thymoquinone was shown to have an inhibitory effect, comparable with that of triamcinolone, on corneal neo- vascularization in this rat model. However, thymoquinone decreased corneal neovascularization in a dose-dependent manner.