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Laboratory science
The effects of ranibizumab (Lucentis) on retinal function in isolated perfused vertebrate retina
  1. M Lüke1,
  2. K Januschowski2,
  3. J Lüke1,
  4. S Peters1,
  5. N Wirtz1,
  6. E Yörük2,
  7. C Lüke3,
  8. K U Bartz-Schmidt2,
  9. S Grisanti1,
  10. P Szurman2
  1. 1
    University Eye Hospital, University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany
  2. 2
    University Eye Hospital, Centre for Ophthalmology, Eberhard-Karls University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
  3. 3
    Center of Ophthalmology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr M Lüke, Eye Hospital, University of Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, D-23538 Lübeck, Germany; matthias.lueke{at}uk-sh.de

Abstract

Background: Intraocular ranibizumab (Lucentis, Novartis, Basel Switzerland) is the primary choice in the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is known to be a survival factor for neuronal cells. Therefore, blockage of all VEGF isoforms by ranibizumab could induce retinal dysfunction.

Methods: Using isolated bovine retinas, the electroretinogram (ERG) was recorded as a transretinal potential using Ag/AgCl electrodes, while the retinas were perfused with an oxygen preincubated nutrient solution. For 45 min, ranibizumab was applied at a concentration of 0.2 mg/ml and alternatively the solvent carrier without the active agent. The ERG was monitored before, during and after exposure.

Results: The concentration of 0.2 mg/ml ranibizumab induced a non-significant b-wave reduction of 22.32% after exposure (p = 0.13). For the a-wave amplitude only a reduction of 4% was detected (p = 0.18). The solvent carrier induced no significant reduction of the a- and b-wave amplitudes (p = 0.30 and p = 0.979, respectively).

Conclusion: In the ex vivo model, the isolated perfused vertebrate retina, ranibizumab has been proven to be a safe compound at the concentrations applied. The stability of the ERG-amplitudes rules out a considerable retinal dysfunction after an injection of up to 1 mg ranibizumab.

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Footnotes

  • Funding This study has been funded by Novartis (Basel, Switzerland).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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