Retinal Penetration of Intravitreally Injected Tissue Plasminogen Activator: A Rat Model Study

Kfir Tal, Assaf Dotan, Yael Nisgav, Mor Dachbash, Orly Gal-Or, Rita Ehrlich, Dan D. Gaton, Dov Weinberger, Tami Livnat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To determine whether intravitreal unconjugated tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) (alteplase) can penetrate the intact neural retina and reach the subretinal space in an experimental model. Methods: This study was performed in 24 Sprague-Dawley rats aged 12 weeks. Under general anesthesia, the right eye was injected with either 0.75 μg of 3 μL tPA (14 rats; study group) or saline (10 rats, control group) into the vitreous. Animals were euthanized at 3, 24, and 48 h. The eyes were enucleated, and cryosections were prepared for immunofluorescence staining. Goat anti-tPA antibody was used to detect tPA. Results: In the study group, staining for tPA was detected in the deep retinal layers in all eyes. The staining was deeper and more intense at 3 and 24 h than at 48 h. There was no tPA staining in the retina of eyes injected with saline. Conclusions: This experimental study shows that unconjugated tPA administered into the vitreous is capable of penetrating the deep retinal layers and the subretinal space. These findings suggest that further clinical research is warranted on the benefits of intravitreal tPA in the treatment of submacular hemorrhage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-240
Number of pages6
JournalOphthalmic Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 May 2018


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