Active Transport and Ocular Distribution of Intravitreally Injected Liposomes

Anne Zebitz Eriksen, Fredrik Melander, Grace de Malona Eriksen, Paul Joseph Kempen, Andreas Kjaer, Thomas Lars Andresen, Andrew James Urquhart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Purpose: Drug delivery to the retina remains a challenge due to ocular barriers and fast clearing mechanisms. Nanocarrier drug delivery systems (NDDSs) hold the promise of prolonging intraocular retention times and increasing drug concentrations in the retina. Methods: Anionic and cationic PEGylated liposomes, loaded with oxaliplatin (OxPt) to be used as trace element, were prepared from dry lipid powders. The differently charged liposomes were intravitreally injected in C57BL/6JrJ mice; eyes were harvested 2 hours and 24 hours post-injection. To investigate active transport mechanisms in the eye, a subset of mice were pre-injected with chloroquine before injection with cationic liposomes. Eyes were dissected and the distribution of OxPt in different tissues were quantified by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Results: Both liposome formulations enhanced the retention time of OxPt in the vitreous over free OxPt. Surprisingly, when formulated in cationic liposomes, OxPt translocated through the retina and accumulated in the RPE-sclera. Pre-injection with chloroquine inhibited the transport of liposomal OxPt from the vitreous to the RPE-sclera. Conclusions: We show that liposomes can enhance the retention time of small molecular drugs in the vitreous and that active transport mechanisms are involved in the trans retinal transport of NDDS after intravitreal injections. Translational Relevance: These results highlight the need for understanding the dynamics of ocular transport mechanisms in living eyes when designing NDDS with the back of the eye as the target. Active transport of nanocarriers through the retina will limit the drug concentration in the neuronal retina but might be exploited for targeting the RPE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalTranslational Vision Science and Technology
Issue number8
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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