Acute effects of the skeletal muscle-specific immunotoxin ricin-mAb 35 on extraocular muscles of rabbits

S. P. Christiansen, A. Sandnas, R. Prill, R. J. Youle, L. K. McLoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Purpose. To determine the acute histologic and ultrastructural effects of a recently developed muscle-specific immunotoxin, ricin-mAb 35. Methods. Graduated doses of ricin-mAb 35, composed of ricin conjugated to a monoclonal antibody against the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor of skeletal muscle, were injected into one superior rectus muscle in rabbits. After 3, 7, and 14 days, both superior rectus muscles were removed and prepared for electron microscopy and histologic examination, by using a number of immunohistochemical markers to identify inflammatory cell infiltration, muscle fiber loss, and muscle regeneration. Results. Myotoxicity of the ricin-mab 35 was focal and dose related. At the highest dose tested, there was substantial inflammatory cell infiltrate by 3 days, which largely disappeared by 7 days. Significant muscle loss was apparent by 7 days after ricin-mAb 35 treatment. Both the inflammatory reaction and muscle fiber loss were confined to the immediate injection site. Surrounding muscle appeared to be normal. At 14 days after treatment, early signs of muscle regeneration were evident within the tissue sections. No evidence of orbital or systemic toxicity was seen in any animal. Conclusions. Direct injection of ricin-mAb 35 into the extraocular muscles of rabbits results in a dose-related focal injury to the muscles, with a self-limited inflammatory component and significant muscle fiber loss. This novel immunotoxin may be useful in the treatment of strabismus if chronic studies show a sustained histologic and electrophysiologic effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3402-3409
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2000


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