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Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc. 2010 Dec;108:96-119.

Studies on the pathogenesis of avascular retina and neovascularization into the vitreous in peripheral severe retinopathy of prematurity (an american ophthalmological society thesis).

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  • 1Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To study vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) regulation in the development of intravitreous neovascularization and peripheral avascular retina in peripheral severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

METHODS:

The rat 50/10 model of ROP mimics zone II, stage 3 severe ROP and recreates fluctuations in transcutaneous oxygen levels in preterm infants. On postnatal (p) day ages p0, p8, p11-p14, and p18, retinas from the model or room-air (RA) age-matched pups were analyzed for mRNA of VEGF splice variants and receptors using real-time polymerase chain reaction or VEGF protein using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

RESULTS:

On p14, when retinas were only 70% vascularized in the model but fully vascularized in RA, VEGF₁₆₄ expression was threefold greater in the model compared to RA. On p18, intravitreous neovascularization was associated with a 5-fold increase in VEGF₁₆₄ mRNA in the model compared to RA. By analysis of variance, VEGF₁₆₄ and VEGFR2 mRNAs were up-regulated in association with increasing developmental age (P<.0001 for both comparisons) or exposure to the model compared to RA (P<.0001 and P=.0247, respectively), whereas increasing developmental age was associated only with up-regulated VEGF₁₂₀ (P=.0006), VEGF₁₈₈ (P=.0256), and VEGFR1 (P<.0001) mRNAs. VEGF protein increased significantly in the model and on p14 and p18 compared to RA (P<.0001).

CONCLUSIONS:

The model mimics contemporary severe ROP in the United States unlike other models of oxygen-induced retinopathy. Compared to RA retinas, VEGF significantly increased in association with avascular retina and intravitreous neovascularization. A hypothesis is proposed that VEGF up-regulation plays a role in the development of both important features.

PMID:
21212851
PMCID:
PMC3016082
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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