PURPOSE: To evaluate the toxicity of brilliant blue G (BBG) compared with those of indocyanine green (ICG) and trypan blue (TB) in a rat model of subretinal injection. METHODS: Retinal detachment was produced by subretinal injection of the dyes. The biocompatibility of BBG (0.25 mg/mL) was evaluated over 2 months and 2 weeks by ophthalmic examinations. The eyes were enucleated and analyzed by light, fluorescence, as well as transmission electron microscopy. Apoptotic cell death was detected by TdT-dUTP terminal nick-end labeling. The results were compared with those for ICG (5 mg/mL) and TB (1 mg/mL). RESULTS: ICG caused retinal degeneration and retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell atrophy 2 weeks after subretinal injection. Apoptotic cell death was detected in the inner and outer nuclear layers and the RPE layer, especially the photoreceptors. TB caused less retinal degeneration, mainly in the area detached by the subretinal injection. BBG had no detectable toxic effects after 2 months and 2 weeks. Apoptotic cell death was detected in the ICG and TB groups, mainly in the photoreceptors. CONCLUSIONS: Subretinal injection of the dyes caused retinal cell degeneration at lower concentrations than those reported for intravitreous injection. However, subretinal injection of BBG at 0.25 mg/mL appeared to provide satisfactory biocompatibility.
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