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Effect of the anti-VEGF antibody on the retinal ganglion cells of rat
  1. Aya Iriyama (akagi-tky{at}umin.ac.jp),
  2. Yi-Ning Chen,
  3. Yasuhiro Tamaki,
  4. Yasuo Yanagi
  1. University of Tokyo School of Medicine, Japan
  2. University of Tokyo School of Medicine, Japan
  3. University of Tokyo School of Medicine, Japan
  4. University of Tokyo School of Medicine, Japan

    Abstract

    Purpose: Intravitreal injection of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antibody (bevacizumab: Avastin(R)) has become one of the chief choices for the treatment of macular edema and neovascular age-related macular degeneration. However, the effect of blocking the VEGF function has not been thoroughly explored in vivo. A previous study has reported that intravitreal injection of bevacizumab had no retinal toxicity on rats; however, bevacizumab is human-specific and does not react with rat VEGF. In this study, we examined the effect of anti-rat VEGF antibody and bevacizumab on rat retina in vivo and in vitro, especially focusing on retinal ganglion cells (RGCs).

    Methods: In vitro, rat RGCs were purified by a two-step immunopanning procedure, and incubated in the presence of VEGF, bevacizumab, anti-rat VEGF antibody, and control-IgG for three days. The number of viable RGCs was counted. In vivo, after intravitreal injections of bevacizumab, anti-rat VEGF antibody, and control-IgG, viable RGCs were visualized by retrolabeling with Fluo-gold and enumerated to examine the toxicity.

    Results: In vivo, the number of viable RGCs in the VEGF-treated group (0.99±0.29 vs control), the bevacizumab-treated group (1.0±0.23 vs control), the anti-rat VEGF antibody-treated group (0.98±0.18 vs control) and the control IgG-treated group (0.98±0.19 vs control) was not statistically different from that of the control group after 3 days. In vitro, the number of viable RGCs in the bevacizumab-treated group (2613±230/mm2), the anti-rat VEGF antibody-treated group (2600 ±140/mm2) and the control IgG-treated group (2656 ±150/mm2) was not statistically different from that of the control group (2656±150/mm2) after 7days. There were no apparent histological abnormalities.

    Conclusion: This study suggests that bevacizumab and anti-rat VEGF antibody have no short-term, direct retinal toxicity using the rat model. Intravitreal injection of bevacizumab shows no short-term, direct toxicity on RGCs.

    • bevacizumab
    • retinal ganglion cells
    • toxicity

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