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Int J Mol Med. 2004 Oct;14(4):707-11.

Suppression of angiogenic activity of sera from diabetic patients with non-proliferative retinopathy by compounds of herbal origin and sulindac sulfone.

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Second Department of Ophtalmology, Medical University of Warsaw, 13 Sierakowskiego street, 03-709 Warsaw, Poland.


Angiogenesis, the process of new blood vessel formation, is the key event in the mechanism of several pathological processes including diabetic retinopathy. The physiological control of angiogenesis depends on the balance between stimulatory and inhibitory factors. Therefore, a number of anti-angiogenic approaches has been developed, many of them based on the inhibition of the functional activity of pro-angiogenic factors. The aim of the present study was to compare the anti-angiogenic effectiveness of sulindac sulfone and some herbal compounds in the serum-induced angiogenesis test performed in Balb/c mice. Pooled sera from 35 patients with diabetes type 2 and retinopathy were used as pro-angiogenic stimuli. The strongest inhibitory effect was observed for the sulindac sulfone and ursolic acid in the highest concentration of 200 micro g/ml, as well as for the low-dosage concomitant treatment with 2 micro g/ml of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG, green tea flavanol), ursolic acid (plant-derived triterpenoid), sulindac sulfone and convalamaroside (steroidal saponin). Combination treatment was significantly more effective than monotherapy with medium (20 micro g/ml) or lowest doses of tested compounds. The present study is the first to demonstrate the potent anti-angiogenic effect of the combination therapy comprising of plant-derived extracts and sulindac sulfone, as tested in the in vivo angiogenesis experimental model with sera of non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy patients used as the pro-angiogenic stimuli. We think that it might be the first step toward application of some of these compounds, in the future, in preventive anti-angiogenic therapy of these patients, as well, as in the treatment of later, proliferative stage of this disease.

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