November 1991
Volume 32, Issue 12
Free
Articles  |   November 1991
Systemic absorption of insulin delivered topically to the rat eye.
Author Affiliations
  • D J Pillion
    Department of Pharmacology, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294.
  • J D Bartlett
    Department of Pharmacology, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294.
  • E Meezan
    Department of Pharmacology, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294.
  • M Yang
    Department of Pharmacology, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294.
  • R J Crain
    Department of Pharmacology, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294.
  • W E Grizzle
    Department of Pharmacology, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science November 1991, Vol.32, 3021-3027. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      D J Pillion, J D Bartlett, E Meezan, M Yang, R J Crain, W E Grizzle; Systemic absorption of insulin delivered topically to the rat eye.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1991;32(12):3021-3027.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Insulin administration in eye drops containing 1% saponin caused a rapid and reproducible reduction in blood levels of D-glucose in anesthetized rats; insulin eye drops lacking saponin were ineffective. Systemic insulin absorption also was observed when Brij 78 or BL-9 was substituted for saponin in eye drops containing insulin. Nonanesthetized rats displayed lower initial D-glucose levels than anesthetized rats, and little hypoglycemic response to insulin eye drops could be observed, suggesting that counter-regulatory hormones could effectively counterbalance the influence of exogenous insulin on glycemic control. Streptozotocin-diabetic rats displayed elevated blood D-glucose values (greater than 400 mg/dl), and these values were decreased to 100-200 mg/dl after the administration of insulin in eye drop solutions containing saponin. The site of insulin absorption appears to be the nasolacrimal drainage system of the rat because administration of a solution containing insulin plus saponin directly into the punctum caused a rapid, significant decrease in blood D-glucose levels. The observation that insulin could be absorbed from the rat eye is consistent with the possibility that insulin eye drops containing an absorption-enhancing surfactant agent could be of potential benefit in the treatment of diabetes mellitus in humans.

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