Retinal changes in rabbit after intravitreal injection of sunitinib encapsulated into solid lipid nanoparticles and polymeric nanocapsules

ABSTRACT Purpose: We aimed to evaluate the safety of single intravitreal injection of each of two concentrations of 0.1 ml of sunitinib (1 and 10 mg/ml), 0.1 ml of a drug-free dispersion containing solid lipid nanoparticles, and 0.1 ml of a drug-free dispersion containing polymeric nanocapsules for analyzing the possible toxic effects using electrophysiology and histology in albino rabbit retina. Methods: We conducted an experimental controlled study of 20 eyes of albino rabbits. Intravitreal injections of each specific agent were applied to one eye per rabbit in each 5-rabbit group, while the contralateral eyes received no treatment and were used as controls. Results: We noted no electroretinographic changes in the sunitinib (1 and 10 mg/ml) or in solid lipid nanoparticles groups. However, we observed significant abnormalities in ocular morphology and in the electroretinogram in the nanocapsules group. At the histological level, only the nanocapsules group demonstrated abnormal changes, including severe edema and cytoplasmic vacuole formation. Conclusions: While nanocapsules intravitreal injections indicated retinal toxic effects, sunitinib and solid lipid nanoparticles intravitreal injections were not toxic to the retina. Our results suggest that a sunitinib preparation with solid lipid nanoparticles for controlled release may offer a significant therapeutic approach for vasoproliferative ocular disease.