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Berrin Avci, Remzi Avci, Ümit Übeyt Inan, Berkant Kaderli; Comparative Evaluation of Apoptotic Activity in Photoreceptor Cells after Intravitreal Injection of Bevacizumab and Pegaptanib Sodium in Rabbits. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(7):3438-3446. doi: 10.1167/iovs.08-2871.
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purpose. To evaluate quantitatively the apoptotic activity after intravitreal injections of pegaptanib sodium and bevacizumab in the rabbit retina.
methods. Different doses of bevacizumab (0.25, 0.625, 1.25, and 2.5 mg) and pegaptanib sodium (0.15, 0.3, and 0.6 mg) were injected intravitreally in 48 rabbits. The eyes were enucleated at different times for early studies at day 14 and for late studies at 3 months after a single injection or at 3 months, with 1 injection in each of the 3 months (day 90). The time course and dose–response of photoreceptor cells in the rabbit retina after intravitreal injection of bevacizumab or pegaptanib sodium were examined by histologic analysis with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining, caspase-3 and -9 immunostaining, and in situ terminal-deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated biotin-deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL) of DNA fragments of paraffin-embedded sections.
results. No sign of retinal toxicity was seen in H&E stained histologic sections of eyes that had received bevacizumab or pegaptanib sodium. Nuclear DNA fragmentation in the outer retinal layers shown by the TUNEL method was evident in the high-dose groups (55.3% with 1.25 mg and 64.5% with 2.5 mg bevacizumab, and 48.5% with 0.6 mg pegaptanib sodium) at 14 days and also in the clinical dose groups (49.8% with three injections [1 each month] of 0.625 mg bevacizumab and 44.3% with 0.15 mg pegaptanib sodium) at 90 days. The ratios of TUNEL-positive cells in physiologic saline and the sham-control groups were 32.3% and 21%, respectively.
conclusions. Intravitreal injection of bevacizumab and pegaptanib sodium caused a significant increase in apoptotic activity in rabbit photoreceptor cells. However, although bevacizumab caused increasing apoptotic activity at higher doses, similar dose-dependent adverse effects were not evident for pegaptanib sodium.
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