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Blockade of VEGFR1 and 2 Suppresses Pathological Angiogenesis and Vascular Leakage in the Eye
Published: Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Author: Hu Huang et al.

by Hu Huang, Jikui Shen, Stanley A. Vinores


VEGFR1 and 2 signaling have both been increasingly shown to mediate complications of ischemic retinopathies, including retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and diabetic retinopathy (DR). This study evaluates the effects of blocking VEGFR1 and 2 on pathological angiogenesis and vascular leakage in ischemic retinopathy in a model of ROP and in choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in a model of AMD.

Materials and Methods

Neutralizing antibodies specific for mouse VEGFR1 (MF1) and VEGFR2 (DC101) were administrated systemically. CNV was induced by laser photocoagulation and assessed 14d after laser treatment. Retinal NV was generated in oxygen-induced ischemic retinopathy (OIR) and assessed at p17. NV quantification was determined by measuring NV tufts and vascular leakage was quantified by measuring [3H]-mannitol leakage from blood vessels into the retina. Gene expression was measured by real-time quantitative (Q)PCR.


VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 expressions were up-regulated during CNV pathogenesis. Both MF1 and DC101 significantly suppressed CNV at 50 mg/kg: DC101 suppressed CNV by 73±5% (p<0.0001) and MF1 by 64±6% (p?=?0.0002) in a dosage-dependent manner. The combination of MF1 and DC101 enhanced the inhibitory efficacy and resulted in an accumulation of retinal microglia at the CNV lesion. Similarly, both MF1 and DC101 significantly suppressed retinal NV in OIR at 50 mg/kg: DC101 suppressed retinal NV by 54±8% (p?=?0.013) and MF1 by 50±7% (p<0.0002). MF1 was even more effective at inhibiting ischemia-induced BRB breakdown than DC101: the retina/lung leakage ratio for MF1 was reduced by 73±24%, p?=?0.001 and for DC101 by 12±4%, p?=?0.003. The retina/renal leakage ratio for MF1 was reduced by 52±28%, p?=?0.009 and for DC101 by 13±4%, p?=?0.001.


Our study provides further evidence that both VEGFR1 and 2 mediate pathological angiogenesis and vascular leakage in these models of ocular disease and suggests that antagonist antibodies to these receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are potential therapeutic agents.