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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2007 Jun;48(6):2545-52.

Bevacizumab as a potent inhibitor of inflammatory corneal angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Erlangen-N├╝rnberg, Erlangen, Germany.



To analyze whether bevacizumab can inhibit inflammatory angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis in the cornea. Bevacizumab (Avastin; Roche, Welwyn Garden City, UK) is a recombinant, humanized, monoclonal antibody against VEGF-A that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of colon carcinomas.


The mouse model of suture-induced corneal neovascularization was used to assess the antihemangiogenic and antilymphangiogenic effect of bevacizumab by systemic and topical application. Corneal flatmounts were stained with LYVE-1 as a specific lymphatic vascular endothelial marker and CD31 as a pan-endothelial marker, and blood and lymph vascularized areas were analyzed morphometrically. The inhibitory effect of bevacizumab on lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) was analyzed with a colorimetric (BrdU) proliferation ELISA. The binding ability of bevacizumab to murine VEGF-A was analyzed by Western blot, ELISA, and surface plasmon resonance.


The systemic and topical applications of bevacizumab significantly inhibited the outgrowth of blood (P < 0.006 and P < 0.0001, respectively) and lymphatic (P < 0.002 and P < 0.0001, respectively) vessels. Inhibition of the proliferation of LECs was also significant (P < 0.0001). Western blot analysis, ELISA, and the surface plasmon resonance assay showed that bevacizumab binds murine VEGF-A.


Topical or systemic application of bevacizumab inhibits both inflammation-induced angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis in the cornea. This finding suggests an important role of VEGF-A in corneal lymphangiogenesis. Bevacizumab may be useful in preventing immune rejections after penetrating keratoplasty or tumor metastasis via lymphatic vessels.

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