To evaluate the safety and efficacy of intravitreal injection of liposomes encapsulating infliximab in experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU) rats.Methods
Liposomes containing infliximab were prepared and characterised for mean particle size, entrapment efficiency, polydispersity index (PDI) and zeta potential. In vitro release profile and the stability of infliximab-lip were evaluated. EAU rats were intravitreally injected with saline, infliximab, infliximab-lip or unloaded liposomes. Clinical signs and ocular histological sections were graded. Infliximab concentrations were determined with competitive ELISA. Safety of the intravitreal injections was evaluated by electroretinography (ERG) and histopathological examination. Retinal biodistribution and clearance of rhodamine-conjugated liposomes containing infliximab were evaluated with a laser scanning confocal microscope.Results
The mean particle size of infliximab liposomes was 351.3±58 nm and entrapment efficiency was 90.65%±2.68%. PDI and zeta potential of infliximab liposomes were 0.386 and −20.8±9.78 mV, respectively. Stability test data showed that the infliximab-lip was stable for 60 days at room temperature. In EAU rats, intravitreal injection of infliximab and infliximab-lip greatly reduced intraocular inflammation determined by clinical scores and histopathological analyses (n=4). The mean concentrations of infliximab decreased quickly in infliximab injection group and were lower than those in infliximab-lip injection group (n=4 eyes, p<0.05 after 3 days post injection). No retinal toxic effects were detected after intravitreal injection of infliximab-lip in ERG (n=4 rats, p>0.05) and histopathological sections compared with normal rats. Confocal microscopy showed that fluorescent liposomes were observed in almost every layer of the retina and remained detectable for >30 days after injection.Conclusions
Intravitreal injection of liposomal infliximab can prolong the persistence of the drug in vitreous body and demonstrated a satisfactory safety and significant therapeutic potentials in EAU. The use of biodegradable particles for therapeutic antibody delivery may provide a promising approach for the treatment of ocular diseases.