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EGF-receptor inhibitor erlotinib mitigates posterior capsule opacification in the human capsular bag model

Session Details

Session Title: PCO

Session Date/Time: Sunday 06/10/2013 | 08:00-09:30

Paper Time: 09:20

Venue: Elicium 1 (First Floor)

First Author: : K.Eibl-Lindner GERMANY

Co Author(s): :    C. Wertheimer   R. Liegl   D. Kook   M. Mackert   P. Laubichler   A. Kampik

Abstract Details


Posterior capsule opacification (PCO) occurs as a common complication after previous cataract surgery. Erlotinib is a selective inhibitor of the EGF-Receptor which represents a potential pharmacological target for PCO prevention. In this in vitro study, we assessed the effect of Erlotinib on PCO prevention in the human capsular bag model as well as its biocompatibility on the corneal endothelium.


Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, Department of Ophthalmology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany


For the human capsular bag model, sixteen cadaver eyes from eight human donors underwent sham cataract surgery. The capsular bag was removed and transferred into cell culture. The tissue was exposed to the IC50 of Erlotinib (10 µM) either for 24 or 72 hrs, solvent only served as control. Cellular growth was observed over 14 days and foto-documented. To assess corneal toxicity, pairs of human donor corneae uneligible for transplantation were exposed to Erlotinib concentrations of 50 or 100μM for 72 hrs, solvent only served as control. Cell viability was assessed at different time points after exposure.


Erlotinib increased the time until confluence of the capsular bag significantly compared to controls (exposure time: 24 hrs (p=0.002) and 72 hrs (p<0.001)). The difference between the 24 hrs and the 72 hrs groups was also significant (p<0.001). No corneal toxicity was observed up to a maximum Erlotinib concentration of 100 μM after 14 days of incubation.


The specific EGFR inhibitor Erlotinib might become of clinical relevance in PCO prophylaxis as it induced an attenuation of cellular growth in the human capsular bag model. At the IC50 concentration, Erlotinib was well tolerated by the human corneal endothelium.

Financial Interest:


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