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Nasir Mat Nor, Cindy X. Guo, Ilva D. Rupenthal, Ying-Shan Chen, Colin R. Green, Monica L. Acosta; Sustained Connexin43 Mimetic Peptide Release From Loaded Nanoparticles Reduces Retinal and Choroidal Photodamage. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(8):3682-3693. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.17-22829.
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To evaluate the long-term effect on inflammation and inflammasome activation of intravitreally delivered connexin43 mimetic peptide (Cx43MP) in saline or incorporated within nanoparticles (NPs) for the treatment of the light-damaged rat eye.
Light-induced damage to the retina was created by exposure of adult albino Sprague-Dawley rats to intense light for 24 hours. A single dose of Cx43MP, Cx43MP-NPs, or saline was injected intravitreally at 2 hours after onset of light damage. Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labelled Cx43MP-NPs were intravitreally injected to confirm delivery into the retina. Electroretinogram (ERG) recordings were performed at 24 hours, 1 week, and 2 weeks post cessation of light damage. The retinal and choroidal layers were analyzed in vivo using optical coherence tomography (OCT) and immunohistochemistry was performed on harvested tissues using glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), leukocyte common antigen (CD45), and Cx43 antibodies.
FITC was visualized 30 minutes after injection in the ganglion cell layer and in the choroid. Cx43MP and Cx43MP-NP treatments improved a-wave and b-wave function of the ERG compared with saline-injected eyes at 1 week and 2 weeks post treatment, and prevented photoreceptor loss by 2 weeks post treatment. Inflammation was also reduced and this was in parallel with downregulation of Cx43 expression.
The slow release of Cx43MP incorporated into NPs is more effective at treating retinal injury than a single dose of native Cx43MP in solution by reducing inflammation and maintaining both retinal structure and function. This NP preparation has clinical relevance as it reduces possible ocular complications associated with repeated intravitreal injections.
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