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Nat Med. 1999 Dec;5(12):1390-5.

Regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor-dependent retinal neovascularization by insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Although insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) has been associated with retinopathy, proof of a direct relationship has been lacking. Here we show that an IGF-1 receptor antagonist suppresses retinal neovascularization in vivo, and infer that interactions between IGF-1 and the IGF-1 receptor are necessary for induction of maximal neovascularization by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). IGF-1 receptor regulation of VEGF action is mediated at least in part through control of VEGF activation of p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase, establishing a hierarchical relationship between IGF-1 and VEGF receptors. These findings establish an essential role for IGF-1 in angiogenesis and demonstrate a new target for control of retinopathy. They also explain why diabetic retinopathy initially increases with the onset of insulin treatment. IGF-1 levels, low in untreated diabetes, rise with insulin therapy, permitting VEGF-induced retinopathy.

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