2007 Volume 30 Issue 9 Pages 1768-1772
The effect of poly-L-arginine with a molecular weight of 35.5 kDa (PLA) on the ocular absorption of hydrophilic molecules after instillation was examined in rabbits in vivo. FITC-labeled dextran (3.8 kDa, FD-4) and pyridoxamine were used as model hyprophilic molecules for absorption. The potential toxicity of PLA was evaluated by microscopic observation of the cornea, production of TNF-α, and the thickness of the corneal epithelia and stroma. The concentration of pyridoxamine and FD-4 in aqueous humor 30 min after a single instillation of a solution of PLA was 29- and 16-fold higher than that without PLA, respectively, but the drug concentrations were not determined in the vitreous body. Repetitive instillation of PLA every 30 min for 150 min achieved 31.1- and 13.3-fold increases in pyridoxamine and FD-4 in aqueous humor, respectively. Furthermore, significant amounts of pyridoxamine and FD-4 were detected in the vitreous body after the repetitive instillation of PLA, even although very little of these drugs was detected in the vitreous body in the control eye without PLA. On the other hand, repetitive instillation of PLA did not induce any alteration of corneal epithelial and stromal thickness, production of TNF-α, and disruption of the epithelial and stromal morphologies and neutrophil infiltration. Our findings suggest that PLA may be useful in promoting drug delivery of hydrophilic drugs to the ocular tissues without producing any significant corneal damage and inflammation.