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This study aimed to examine the intraocular tolerability of the epidermal growth factor receptor antibody cetuximab, when applied intravitreally, and its effect on axial elongation. Guinea pigs aged 2-3 weeks were subjected to bilateral plano glasses and bilateral lens-induced myopization (LIM) as a single procedure for group I (n = 8) and group II (n = 8), respectively. In the animals of group III (n = 8), group IV (n = 8), and group V (n = 8), the right eyes of the animals, in addition to LIM, received four weekly intravitreal injections of cetuximab (Erbitux®) in doses of 6.25 μg, 12.5 μg, and 25 μg, respectively. As controls, the left eyes, in addition to LIM, received corresponding intraocular injections of phosphate-buffered saline. The animals underwent regular ophthalmoscopic examinations and biometry for axial length measurements. With increasing doses of cetuximab, the inter-eye difference in axial elongation (at study end, left eyes minus right eyes) were significantly the smallest in group I (0.00 ± 0.02 mm) and group II (-0.01 ± 0.02 mm), they were larger in group III (0.04 ± 0.04 mm) and group IV (0.10 ± 0.03 mm), and they were the largest in group V (0.11 ± 0.01 mm). The inter-eye difference in axial elongation enlarged (P < 0.001) with the number of injections applied. Retinal thickness at the posterior pole (right eyes) was significantly thicker in group V than in group II (P < 0.01). The density of apoptotic cells (visualized by TUNEL-staining) did not vary significantly between any of the groups (all P > 0.05). The results suggest that intravitreal injections of cetuximab in young guinea pigs with LIM resulted in a reduction in axial elongation in a dose-dependent and number of treatment-dependent manner. Intraocular toxic effects, such as intraocular inflammation, retinal thinning, or an increased density of apoptotic cells in the retina, were not observed in association with the intravitreally applied cetuximab. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


He-Yan Li, Li Dong, Xu-Han Shi, Rui-Heng Zhang, Wen-Da Zhou, Hao-Tian Wu, Chu-Yao Yu, Yi-Tong Li, Yi-Fan Li, Jost B Jonas, Wen-Bin Wei, Yue-Ming Liu. Intraocular cetuximab: Safety and effect on axial elongation in young Guinea pigs with lens-induced myopization. Experimental eye research. 2024 Jan;238:109715

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PMID: 37951338

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