The role of blood-ocular barrier transporters in retinal drug disposition: An overview

Masatoshi Tomi, Ken Ichi Hosoya

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Importance of the field: Delivery of drugs to the retina remains a major challenge which needs to be addressed urgently because retinal disorders are leading causes of visual impairment and significantly affect a patient's quality of life. Systemic drug administration is one possible route for treating retinal disorders; however, retinal transfer of drugs from the circulating blood is strictly regulated by two bloodocular barrier systems, the bloodaqueous barrier and the bloodretinal barrier. Areas covered in this review: This review summarizes the latest biological research regarding bloodocular barrier drug transporters. What the reader will gain: The bloodocular barrier sites and their respective roles in aqueous humor dynamics and retinal homeostasis are briefly presented. The potential impact of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) and solute carrier (SLC) drug transporters, such as ABCB, ABCC, ABCG, SLC7, SLC16, SLC19, SLCO/SLC21A, SLC22A and SLC29 transporters, on the permeability of drugs across the bloodocular barriers is then illustrated. Take home message: As more information becomes available regarding the bloodocular barrier transporters, we may be able to design simpler and more effective routes for drug delivery to the retina and, consequently, improve the treatment of retinal diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1124
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Metabolism and Toxicology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Sept


  • ABC transporters
  • Bloodaqueous barrier
  • Bloodocular barrier
  • Bloodretinal barrier
  • Drug transporters
  • Retina
  • SLC transporters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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