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The effects of ranibizumab (Lucentis®) on retinal function in isolated perfused vertebrate retina
  1. Matthias Lüke1,
  2. Kai Januschowski2,
  3. Julia Lüke3,
  4. Swaantje Peters3,
  5. Nick Wirtz3,
  6. Efdal Yörük2,
  7. Lüke Christoph4,
  8. Karl Ulrich Bartz-Schmidt2,
  9. Salvatore Grisanti3 and
  10. Peter Szurman2
  1. 1 University of Luebeck, Germany;
  2. 2 University Eye Hospital, Centre for Ophthalmology, Eberhard-Karls University of Tuebingen, Germany;
  3. 3 University Eye Hospital, University of Lübeck, Germany;
  4. 4 Center of Ophthalmology, University of Cologne, Germany
  1. * Corresponding author; email: matthias.lueke{at}


Background: Intraocular ranibizumab (Lucentis®, Novartis, Basel Switzerland) is the primary choice in the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). 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 pre-incubated nutrient solution. For 45 min ranibizumab was applied at a concentration of 0.2mg/mL and alternatively the solvent carrier without the active agent. The ERG was monitored before, during and after exposure.

Results: The concentration of 0.2mg/mL ranibizumab induced a not 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 our 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 1mg ranibizumab.

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