RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Influence of triamcinolone intravitreal injection on retinochoroidal healing processes.

To analyze the effects of triamcinolone intravitreal injection on the wound healing processes after argon laser retinal photocoagulation, wild type C57BL/6J mice, 8-12 weeks old underwent a standard argon laser photocoagulation protocol. After pentobarbital anesthesia and pupil dilatation, argon laser lesions were induced (50microm, 400mW, 0.05s). Two photocoagulation impacts created two disc diameters from the optic nerve in both eyes. The photocoagulated mice were divided into four groups: Group I (n=12), photocoagulation controls, did not receive any intravitreous injection. Group II (n=12), received an intravitreous injection of 1microl of balanced salt solution (BSS). Group III (n=12), received an intravitreous injection of 1microl containing 15microg of triamcinolone acetonide (TAAC) in BSS. Two mice from each of these three groups were sacrificed at 1, 3, 7, 14 days and 2 and 4 months after photocoagulation. Group IV (n=10) received 1.5, 3, 7.5, 15, or 30microg of TAAC and were all sacrificed on day 14. The enucleated eyes were subjected to systematic analysis of the cellular remodeling processes taking place within the laser lesion and its vicinity. To this purpose, specific antibodies against GFAP, von Willebrand factor, F4/80 and KI67 were used for the detection of astrocytes, activated Müller cells, vascular endothelial cells, infiltrating inflammatory cells and actively proliferating cells. TUNEL reaction was also carried out along with nuclear DAPI staining. Temporal and spatial observations of the created photocoagulation lesions demonstrate that 24h following the argon laser beam, a localized and well-delineated affection of the RPE cells and choroid is observed in mice in Groups I and II. The inner retinal layers in these mice eyes are preserved while TUNEL positive (apoptotic) cells are observed at the retinal outer nuclear layer level. At this stage, intense staining with GFAP is associated with activated retinal astrocytes and Müller cells throughout the laser path. From day 3 after photocoagulation, dilated new choroidal capillaries are detected on the edges of the laser lesion. These processes are accompanied by infiltration of inflammatory cells and the presence of proliferating cells within the lesion site. Mice in Group III treated with 15microg/mul of triamcinolone showed a decreased number of infiltrating inflammatory cells and proliferating cells, which was not statistically significant compared to uninjected laser treated controls. The development of new choroidal capillaries on the edges of the laser lesion was also inhibited during the first 2 months after photocoagulation. However, on month 4 the growth of new vessels was observed in these mice treated with TAAC. Mice of Group IV did not show any development of new capillaries even with small doses. After argon laser photocoagulation of the mouse eye, intravitreal injection of triamcinolone markedly influenced the retina and choroid remodeling and healing processes. Triamcinolone is a powerful inhibitor of the formation of neovessels in this model. However, this inhibition is transient. These observations should provide a practical insight for the mode of TAAC use in patients with wet AMD.

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