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Prog Retin Eye Res. 2008 Jul;27(4):331-71. doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2008.05.001. Epub 2008 May 28.

Vascular endothelial growth factor in eye disease.

Author information

1
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, USA. john.penn@vanderbilt.edu

Abstract

Collectively, angiogenic ocular conditions represent the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in developed countries. In the US, for example, retinopathy of prematurity, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration are the principal causes of blindness in the infant, working age and elderly populations, respectively. Evidence suggests that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a 40kDa dimeric glycoprotein, promotes angiogenesis in each of these conditions, making it a highly significant therapeutic target. However, VEGF is pleiotropic, affecting a broad spectrum of endothelial, neuronal and glial behaviors, and confounding the validity of anti-VEGF strategies, particularly under chronic disease conditions. In fact, among other functions VEGF can influence cell proliferation, cell migration, proteolysis, cell survival and vessel permeability in a wide variety of biological contexts. This article will describe the roles played by VEGF in the pathogenesis of retinopathy of prematurity, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. The potential disadvantages of inhibiting VEGF will be discussed, as will the rationales for targeting other VEGF-related modulators of angiogenesis.

PMID:
18653375
PMCID:
PMC3682685
DOI:
10.1016/j.preteyeres.2008.05.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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