31 May 2018
Retinal ischemia is an important factor in several eye disorders. To investigate the impact of VEGF inhibitors, as a therapeutic option, we studied these in a retinal ischemia animal model. Therefore, animals received bevacizumab or ranibizumab intravitreally one day after ischemia induction. Via electroretinography, a significant decrease in a- and b-wave amplitudes was detected fourteen days after ischemia, but they were reduced to a lesser extent in the ranibizumab group. Ischemic and bevacizumab retinae displayed fewer retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), while no significant cell loss was noted in the ranibizumab group. Apoptosis was reduced after therapy. More autophagocytotic cells were observed in ischemic and bevacizumab eyes, but not in ranibizumab eyes. Additionally, more microglia, as well as active ones, were revealed in all ischemic groups, but the increase was less prominent under ranibizumab treatment. Fewer cone bipolar cells were detected in ischemic eyes, in contrast to bevacizumab and ranibizumab-treated ones. Our results demonstrate a reduced apoptosis and autophagocytosis rate after ranibizumab treatment. Furthermore, a certain protection was seen regarding functionality, RGC, and bipolar cell availability, as well as microglia activation by ranibizumab treatment after ischemic damage. Thus, ranibizumab could be an option for treatment of retinal ischemic injury.