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Akiomi Takano, Akira Hirata, Kazuya Ogasawara, Nina Sagara, Yasuya Inomata, Takahiro Kawaji, Hidenobu Tanihara; Posterior Vitreous Detachment Induced by Nattokinase (Subtilisin NAT): A Novel Enzyme for Pharmacologic Vitreolysis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(5):2075-2079. doi: 10.1167/iovs.05-0130.
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purpose. To investigate the effects of intravitreal injection of nattokinase (subtilisin NAT), a serine protease that is produced by Bacillus subtilis (natto), for induction of posterior vitreous detachment (PVD).
methods. Different doses of nattokinase (1, 0.1, or 0.01 fibrin-degradation units [FU]) or physiologic saline as a control were injected into the vitreous cavity of rabbit eyes. Scanning electron microscopy was used to observe the retinal surfaces of four rabbit eyes per concentration. Histologic alterations were assessed by light microscopy, using four eyes from each group. Electroretinography (ERG) was performed to observe retinal function, ranging from 1 hour to 1 week after the nattokinase (1 or 0.1 FU) or saline solution administration, using four eyes from each group at each time point. Also, findings in all rabbits were monitored by slit lamp examination and by indirect ophthalmoscopy with a 20-D lens.
results. Scanning electron microscopy showed smooth retinal surfaces, indicating the occurrence of PVD at 30 minutes after intervention in all the experimental eyes injected with 0.1 or 1.0 FU nattokinase, but none of the control eyes. Light microscopy and ERG analysis showed no critical change even after the use of 0.1 FU nattokinase, an amount sufficient to induce PVD. However, toxicity in the forms of preretinal hemorrhage and ERG changes was noted with the higher dose (1 FU) of nattokinase.
conclusions. The results suggested that nattokinase is a useful enzyme for pharmacologic vitreolysis because of its efficacy in inducing PVD.
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