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Exp Eye Res. 2006 Feb;82(2):341-8. Epub 2005 Aug 24.

Proteins with an endostatin-like domain in a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy.

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Department of Anatomy II, Friedrich-Alexander-University, Erlangen, Germany.


Neovascularization in the retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) mouse eye is a self-limiting phenomenon. Free endostatin is known to be anti-angiogenic. In this study, we identified the localization of endostatin-like protein (ELP) sequences and investigated their possible role in this process. ROP was induced in C57Bl/6 mice and the eyes observed 1-11 days after termination of high oxygen supply (P13-P21). Sagittal sections and retinal flatmounts were double-stained with antibodies against a protein-sequence of endostatin, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), lectin, and smooth-muscle alpha actin. The fluorescence was visualized by traditional and confocal microscopy. Intense staining for VEGF in the inner retina was limited to the early stages of neovascularization and diminished at P19-P21. In contrast, staining for ELPs appeared at P15 around the newly formed vessels and remained even after degeneration of their endothelial cells. Staining of the inner retinal vasculature for ELPs was restricted to P17-P19, the known maximum of the neovascular response. Outer retinal vessels did not show presence of ELPs at any time. Our study demonstrates that ELPs, absent at the beginning of neovascular sprouting, increases with the amount of neovascularization and thus, varies reciprocally to VEGF in the time period investigated. ELPs remain during the regression of the vessels and might therefore play an important role in the self-limiting process of ROP neovascularization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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