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Tomohiro Nizawa, Imran A. Bhutto, Anupama Tiwari, Rhonda R. Grebe, Jesse Alt, Rana Rais, Malia M. Edwards, Gerard A. Lutty; Topical Ketotifen Fumarate Inhibits Choroidal Mast Cell Degranulation and Loss of Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells in Rat Model for Geographic Atrophy. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2021;10(14):37. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.10.14.37.
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This study evaluates whether topical ketotifen fumarate (KTF) can prevent geographic atrophy (GA)-like phenotypes in a rat model.
Pharmacokinetics (PKs) of KTF after topical administration twice daily for 5 days was analyzed in rat retina, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)/choroid/sclera, and in plasma by an liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method. Rats were then given hydrogel implants +/- 48/80 in the superior subconjunctival space and topically treated with 1% and 0.25% of KTF or phosphate buffer saline (PBS) twice daily. Rats were euthanized at 1, 2, 4, and 8 weeks postinjection. Choroidal mast cells (MCs) were stained with nonspecific esterase and the RPE monolayer was labeled with RPE65 and ZO-1 in whole mount choroids. Retinal and choroidal areas were determined in cryosections stained with picrosirius red. Dark-adapted electroretinogram (ERG) was also performed to evaluate retinal function.
PK results showed the highest level of KTF (average 5.6 nM/mg) in the RPE/choroid/sclera in rats given topical 1% KTF. Topical 1% KTF significantly reduced choroidal MC degranulation at 1 week and 2 weeks (both P < 0.001) and RPE loss at 4 weeks (P < 0.001) as well as retinal and choroidal thinning (both P < 0.001) and reduction in ERG amplitude at 8 weeks (P < 0.05) compared to PBS. Similar results were obtained with 0.25% KTF.
Both 1% and 0.25% KTF eye drops effectively reduced MC degranulation, RPE loss, and retinal and choroidal thinning while preventing the decline of ERG amplitude in a GA-like rat model. These data suggest that topical KTF might be a new therapeutic drug for treating GA.
The results of this study demonstrate that topical KTF successfully reduced GA-like phenotypes in a rat model and may provide a novel therapy for GA.
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