Retinal function and histopathology in rabbits treated with Topiramate.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose To evaluate retinal function and histopathology in rabbits treated orally with the antiepileptic drug topiramate. Methods Six rabbits were treated with a daily oral dose of topiramate during a period of eight months. Six rabbits receiving water served as controls. Blood samples were analyzed for determination of topiramate serum levels in order to ensure successful drug exposition. Standardized full-field electroretinograms (ERGs) were performed before treatment and then at 2, 3 and 8 months during the treatment period. After terminating treatment the rabbits were sacrificed and the morphology of the sectioned retina was studied. Results After eight months of treatment the fullfield ERG demonstrated normal rod function in treated and control rabbits, but the light adapted 30 Hz flicker b-wave amplitude was significantly reduced in the treated rabbits. This was the case for both the light adapted (Wilcoxon signed ranks test, P=0.046) and the dark adapted (Wilcoxon signed ranks test, P=0.028) 30 Hz flicker response from the treated rabbits. Retinal immunohistology revealed a severe accumulation of GABA in amacrine cells and in the inner plexiform layer in 4 of 6 treated rabbits compared to the controls. Conclusions Topiramate, orally administrated to rabbits, may cause a significant reduction of the retinal function demonstrated by the reduced b-wave amplitude in the full-field ERG, as well as changes in immunohistology characterized by a severe accumulation of GABA in the inner retina. The retinal dysfunction and the morphological changes indicate that topiramat may damage the retina, similarly to vigabatrin (another antiepileptic drug).


  • Sten Kjellström
  • Anitha Bruun
  • Björn Isaksson
  • T Eriksson
  • Sten Andréasson
  • Vesna Ponjavic
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ophthalmology
  • Clinical Medicine


  • rabbit, drug toxicity, immunohistochemistry, topiramate, electroretinogram
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-186
JournalDocumenta Ophthalmologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch

Total downloads

No data available