PloS one

Pharmacokinetics and efficacy of topically applied nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in retinochoroidal tissues in rabbits.

PMID 24796327


To evaluate the pharmacokinetics and efficacy of topically applied nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the retinochoroidal tissues of rabbits. The cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitory activity of diclofenac, bromfenac, and amfenac, an active metabolite of nepafenac, were determined using human-derived COX-1 and COX-2. Each of the three NSAIDs was applied topically to rabbits, and after 0.5 to 8 hrs, the concentration of each drug in the aqueous humor and the retinochoroidal tissues was measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The pharmacokinetics of the drugs in the tissues after repeated doses as is done on patients was calculated by a simulation software. The inhibitory effect of each NSAID on the breakdown of the blood-retinal barrier was assessed by the vitreous protein concentration on concanavalin A-induced retinochoroidal inflammation in rabbits. The half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of diclofenac, bromfenac, and amfenac was 55.5, 5.56, and 15.3 nM for human COX-1, and 30.7, 7.45, and 20.4 nM for human COX-2, respectively. The three NSAIDs were detected in the aqueous humor and the retinochoroidal tissue at all-time points. Simulated pharmacokinetics showed that the levels of the three NSAIDs were continuously higher than the IC50 of COX-2, as an index of efficacy, in the aqueous humor, whereas only the bromfenac concentration was continuously higher than the IC50 at its trough level in the retinochoroidal tissues. The intravitreous concentration of proteins was significantly reduced in rabbits that received topical bromfenac (P = 0.026) but not the other two NSAIDs. Topical bromfenac can penetrate into the retinochoroidal tissues in high enough concentrations to inhibit COX-2 and exerts its inhibitory effect on the blood-retinal barrier breakdown in an experimental retinochoroidal inflammation in rabbits. Topical bromfenac may have a better therapeutic benefit than diclofenac and nepafenac for retinochoroidal inflammatory diseases.