Investigative ophthalmology & visual science

Controlled delivery of 5-chlorouracil using poly(ortho esters) in filtering surgery for glaucoma.

PMID 18579761


To evaluate the antimitotic and toxic effects of 5-chlorouracil (5-CU) and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and study their potential to delay filtering bleb closure in the rabbit eye when released by poly(ortho esters) (POE). Rabbit Tenon fibroblasts and human conjunctival cells were incubated with various 5-CU and 5-FU concentrations. Antiproliferative effects and toxicity were evaluated at 24 and 72 hours by monotetrazolium, neutral red, and Hoechst tests and cell counting. Mechanisms of cell death were evaluated using TUNEL assay, annexin V binding, immunohistochemistry for anti-apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) and LEI/L-DNase II. Trabeculectomy was performed in pigmented rabbits. Two hundred microliters of POE loaded with 1% wt/wt 5-FU or 5-CU was injected into the subconjunctival space after surgery. Intraocular pressure (IOP) and bleb persistence were monitored for 150 days. In vitro, 5-FU showed a higher antiproliferative effect and a more toxic effect than 5-CU. 5-FU induced cell necrosis, whereas 5-CU induced mostly apoptosis. The apoptosis induced by 5-CU was driven through a non-caspase-dependent pathway involving AIF and LEI/L-DNase II. In vivo, at 34 days after surgery, the mean IOP in the POE/5-CU-treated group was 83% of the baseline level and only 40% in the POE/5-FU-treated group. At 100 days after surgery, IOP was still decreased in the POE/5-CU group when compared with the controls and still inferior to the preoperative value. The mean long-term IOP, with all time points considered, was significantly (P < 0.0001) decreased in the POE/5-CU-treated group (6.0 +/- 2.4 mm Hg) when compared with both control groups, the trabeculectomy alone group (7.6 +/- 2.9 mm Hg), and the POE alone group (7.5 +/- 2.6 mm Hg). Histologic analysis showed evidence of functioning blebs in the POE-5-CU-treated eyes along with a preserved structure of the conjunctiva epithelium. The slow release of 5-CU from POE has a longstanding effect on the decrease of IOP after glaucoma-filtering surgery in the rabbit eye. Thus, the slow release of POE/5-CU may be beneficial for the prevention of bleb closure in patients who undergo complicated trabeculectomy.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

5-Chlorouracil, ReagentPlus®, 99%