PURPOSE. Topical nepafenac readily penetrates the cornea and is metabolized to amfenac, a potent cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2 inhibitor. In this study, we tested the effect of topical nepafenac in three murine models of ocular neovascularization (NV)). METHODS. A masked trial was performed to compare the topical effects of vehicle with one of several concentrations of nepafenac (0.01%, 0.03%, 0.1%, or 0.5%), 0.1% diclofenac, or 0.5% ketorolac tromethamine in mice with oxygen-induced ischemic retinopathy, mice with choroidal NV (CNV) due to laser-induced rupture of Bruch's membrane, or transgenic mice with increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in photoreceptors (rho/VEGF transgenic mice). RESULTS. Mice treated with 0.1% or 0.5% nepafenac had significantly less CNV and significant less ischemia-induced retinal NV than did vehicle-treated mice. Nepafenac also blunted the increase in VEGF mRNA in the retina induced by ischemia. In rho/VEGF transgenic mice, nepafenac failed to inhibit neovascularization. In additional studies, compared with vehicle-treated mice, mice treated with 0.1% or 0.03% nepafenac had significantly less CNV, whereas eyes treated with 0.1% diclofenac showed no significant difference. Mice treated with 0.5% ketorolac tromethamine for 14 days had high mortality, but when evaluated after 7 days of treatment showed no difference from mice treated with vehicle for 7 days. CONCLUSIONS. Topical nepafenac inhibits CNV and ischemia-induced retinal neovascularization by decreasing production of VEGF. The absence of effect in rho/VEGF transgenic mice is consistent with this mechanism. Topical nepafenac may provide an effective new treatment for ocular neovascularization. The excellent corneal penetration of nepafenac certainly plays an important role in this effect. It is possible that other antiangiogenic agents are also amenable to topical application after formulations are identified that maximize their corneal penetration. Because of the many advantages of the topical route of delivery, this is a possible topic for exploration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience