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M. Rabena, D. Pieramici, S. Soudry, E. Zemel, A. Loewenstein, I. Perlman, P. Beer; Safety of Intravitreal Infliximab in a Rabbit Model. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):3859.
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Neutralizing Tumor necrosis factor (TNF- ), an inflammatory mediator, has recently been pointed out as an emerging approach in the treatment of uveitis and in early diabetic retinopathy. This research was designed to assess retinal toxicity of intravitreal of Infliximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody directed against TNF-, administration in a rabbit model.
Two groups of adult albino rabbits underwent intravitreal injections of 0.1 ml Infliximab solution (15mg/ml and 75 mg/ml), while the left eye was injected with a similar volume of sterile saline solution and thus served as control. Electrophysiologic assessment, including ERG and VEP was performed at baseline and after 7 and 45 days. For each rabbit, the b-waves of both eyes were plotted as a function of log flash energy, and the curve was fitted to a Michaelis-Menten type function in order to derive the maximum response amplitude, andthe semi-saturation constant. The ratio between Vmax values of both eyes was used to assess retinal function. After the last electrophysiologic assessment the rabbits were sacrificed, and the retinas were prepared for histopathological study.
The ERG studies demonstrated minimal or no damage in rabbit eyes injected with Infliximab. Mean Vmax and σ values calculated at each time point indicated a similar retinal function in experimental and control eyes. VEP responses were similar for stimulation of each eye separately. No histopathological damage could be observed in the retinas of rabbits injected with anti-TNF antibodies.
Intravitreal injection of anti-TNF antibodies appears to be safe in the rabbit retina, as judged from functional (ERG and VEP) and structural tests.
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