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Inhibition of experimental diabetic cataract by topical administration of RS-verapamil hydrochloride
  1. A Ettl1,2,
  2. A Daxer1,3,
  3. W Göttinger1,
  4. E Schmid1
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Innsbruck, Austria
  2. 2Department of Neuro-Ophthalmology, Oculoplastic and Orbital Surgery, Central Hospital, Pölten, Austria
  3. 3Eye Center, Linz, Austria
  1. Correspondence to: Armin Ettl, MD, PhD Neuro-Ophthalmology, Zentraltrankenhaus Postfach 176, A-3100 St Pölten, Austria; a.ettlkh-st-poelten.at

Abstract

Aim: To investigate the efficacy of verapamil eye drops for inhibition of diabetic cataract in rats.

Methods: Diabetes was induced in 69 male Sprague-Dawley rats by an intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (65 mg/kg body weight). One group (DV) of animals was treated by instillation of one drop of 0.2% RS-verapamil hydrochloride in both eyes three times daily for 8 weeks. The placebo treated group (D) received the vehicle solution only. After 8 weeks the lenses were removed, inspected, and photographed using bright and dark field illumination. The transmission of He-Ne laser light was measured in the optical axis of each lens in order to determine the turbidity coefficient (t) as a measure of central lens opacity. Following digital image analysis, the integrated density as a measure of central and mid-peripheral opacities was determined.

Results: Lenses of both groups developed peripheral cortical opacities not affecting the optical axis. Advanced and paracentral cortical opacities were present in 10 (16.7%) of the placebo treated lenses (D) and two (3.8%) of the verapamil treated lenses (DV). Complete corticonuclear cataract developed in four (6.7%) of the lenses from group D but none of the lenses from group DV. The mean lens turbidity t was determined to be 0.019 (SEM 0.002) mm−1 (n  =  52) in the verapamil treated diabetic rats (DV) and 0.042 (0.008) mm−1 (n  =  60) in the placebo treated group (D). This difference was statistically significant (p  =  0.0054). The mean integrated density was 274.91 (22.5) in group D (n  =  60) and 196.28 (20.7) in group DV (n  =  37). This difference was also significant (p  =  0.0037).

Conclusion: Verapamil eye drops 0.2% administered three times daily are effective in inhibiting the progression of lens opacities in streptozotocin diabetic rats.

  • verapamil
  • cataract
  • diabetes
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Footnotes

  • Preliminary results of this study were presented at the annual meetings of the AER in Granada in 1993 and the ARVO in Fort Lauderdale in 1995.

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