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Clin Ophthalmol. 2013;7:321-7. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S41556. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Bevacizumab inhibits proliferation of choroidal endothelial cells by regulation of the cell cycle.

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  • 1University of Florida, Department of Ophthalmology, Jacksonville, FL, USA.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate cell cycle changes in choroidal endothelial cells treated with varying doses of bevacizumab in the presence of a range of concentrations of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Bevacizumab, a drug widely used in the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration, choroidal neovascularization, and proliferative diabetic retinopathy, neutralizes all isoforms of VEGF. However, the effect of intravitreal administration of bevacizumab on the choroidal endothelial cell cycle has not been established.


Monkey choroidal endothelial (RF/6A) cells were treated with VEGF 50 ng/mL and escalating doses of bevacizumab 0.1-2 mg/mL for 72 hours. Cell cycle changes in response to bevacizumab were analyzed by flow cytometry and propidium iodide staining. Cell proliferation was measured using the WST-1 assay. Morphological changes were recorded by bright field cell microscopy.


Bevacizumab inhibited proliferation of choroidal endothelial cells by stabilization of the cell cycle in G0/G1 phase. Cell cycle analysis of VEGF-enriched choroidal endothelial cells revealed a predominant increase in the G2/M population (21.84%, P, 0.01) and a decrease in the G0/G1 phase population (55.08%, P, 0.01). Addition of escalating doses of bevacizumab stabilized VEGF-enriched cells in the G0/G1 phase (55.08%, 54.49%, 56.3%, and 64% [P, 0.01]) and arrested proliferation by inhibiting the G2/M phase (21.84%, 21.46%, 20.59%, 20.94%, and 16.1% [P, 0.01]). The increase in G0/G1 subpopulation in VEGF-enriched and bevacizumab-treated cells compared with VEGF-enriched cells alone was dose-dependent.


Bevacizumab arrests proliferation of VEGF-enriched choroidal endothelial cells by stabilizing the cell cycle in the G0/G1 phase and inhibiting the G2/M phase in a dose-dependent fashion.


age-related macular degeneration; bevacizumab; vascular endothelial growth factor

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