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Transl Vis Sci Technol. 2014 Mar 27;3(2):3. eCollection 2014 Mar.

Intravitreal Injection of Normal Saline Induces Retinal Degeneration in the C57BL/6J Mouse.

Author information

1
Centre for Experimental Medicine, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, UK.
2
Centre for Experimental Medicine, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, UK ; School of Medicine, Imperial College of London, UK.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To investigate the adverse effect of intravitreal injection of normal saline (NS) and phosphate buffered saline (PBS) in mouse eyes.

METHODS:

NS or PBS was injected intravitreally into C57BL/6J mouse eyes. Retinal lesions were monitored by fundus imaging, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), and histological investigations. Retinal immune gene expression was determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The toxic effect of NS and PBS or retinal protein from NS- or PBS-injected eyes on retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) was tested in B6-RPE-07 mouse RPE cell cultures.

RESULTS:

Intravitreal injection of NS dose-dependently induced localized retinal lesion in mice. Histological investigations revealed multiple vacuoles in photoreceptor outer segments and RPE cells. The lesions recovered over time and by 3 weeks post injection the majority of lesions vanished in eyes receiving 1 μl NS. Inflammatory genes, including TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, iNOS, and VEGF were upregulated in NS injected eyes. Intravitreal injection of PBS did not cause any pathology. The treatment of B6-RPE07 cells with 30% PBS or 30% NS did not affect RPE viability. However, incubation of 1-μg/ml retinal protein from NS-injected eyes, but not PBS-injected eyes induced RPE cell death.

CONCLUSION:

NS is toxic to the C57BL/6J mouse retina and should not be used as a vehicle for intraocular injection. PBS is not toxic to the retina and is a preferred vehicle.

TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE:

NS is not a physiological solution for intraocular injection in the C57BL/6J mice and questions its suitability for intraocular injection in other species, including human.

KEYWORDS:

intraocular injection; photoreceptors; retinal pigment epithelium; saline; toxicity

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