Bevacizumab is not toxic to retinal ganglion cells after repeated intravitreal injection

Retina. 2009 Mar;29(3):306-12. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0b013e3181909404.


Purpose: The cytotoxicity of single and repeated administration of bevacizumab to retinal ganglion cells was studied in vivo and in vitro.

Methods: Rats received single or repeated injections of 125 microg of bevacizumab into the vitreous cavity of the left eye, while saline was injected into the right eye as a control. In the repeated injection group, bevacizumab was injected at the same concentration once per week for 4 weeks. Retinal ganglion cells were retrogradely labeled with Fluorogold dye, and counted after kill at 0 and 6 months after treatment. In the in vitro study, PC12 cells were cultured in various concentrations of bevacizumab (0, 1, 2, 5, and 10 mg/mL) to model retinal ganglion cells exposure. Cell viability in each group was assessed by an MTT assay.

Results: There was no significant difference in retinal ganglion cell numbers between control and bevacizumab-treated eyes following either single or repeated injection, or did bevacizumab have any significant influence on PC12 cell viability in vitro.

Conclusion: These results suggest that intravitreal injection of bevacizumab poses no risk to retinal ganglion cells, even after repeated application.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Bevacizumab
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Injections
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / cytology
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / drug effects*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vitreous Body


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Bevacizumab