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Prog Retin Eye Res. 2003 Nov;22(6):721-48.

Retinal and choroidal angiogenesis: pathophysiology and strategies for inhibition.

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1
School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA. adas@unm.edu

Abstract

Retinal angiogenesis and choroidal angiogenesis are major causes of vision loss, and the pathogenesis of this angiogenesis process is still uncertain. However, several key steps of the angiogenic cascade have been elucidated. In retinal angiogenesis, hypoxia is the initial stimulus that causes up regulation of growth factors, integrins and proteinases, which result in endothelial cell proliferation and migration that are critical steps in this process. Once the endothelial tube is formed from the existing blood vessels, maturation starts with recruitment of mural cell precursors and formation of the basement membrane. Normally, there is a tight balance between angiogenic factors and endogenous angiogenesis inhibitors that help to keep the angiogenic process under control. Although the steps of choroidal angiogenesis seem to be similar to those of retinal angiogenesis, there are some major differences between these two processes. Several anti-angiogenic approaches are being developed in animal models to prevent ocular angiogenesis by blocking the key steps of the angiogenic cascade. Based on these pre-clinical studies, several anti-angiogenic clinical trials are ongoing in patients with diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. This review discusses the pathogenesis of retinal and choroidal angiogenesis, and alternative pharmacological approaches to inhibit angiogenesis in ocular diseases.

PMID:
14575722
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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