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Methods Enzymol. 2008;444:115-58. doi: 10.1016/S0076-6879(08)02806-1.

Chapter 6. Ocular models of angiogenesis.

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Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA.


During normal retinal vascular development, vascular endothelial cells proliferate and migrate through the extracellular matrix in response to a variety of cytokines, leading to the formation of new blood vessels in a highly ordered fashion. However, abnormal angiogenesis contributes to the vast majority of diseases that cause catastrophic loss of vision. During abnormal neovascularization of the iris, retina, or choroid, angiogenesis is unregulated and usually results in the formation of dysfunctional blood vessels. Multiple models of ocular angiogenesis exist which recapitulate particular aspects of both normal and pathological neovascularization. These experimental methods are useful for studying the mechanisms of normal developmental angiogenesis, as well as studying various aspects of pathological angiogenesis including ischemic retinopathies, vascular leak, and choroidal neovascularization. This chapter will outline several protocols used to study ocular angiogenesis, put the protocols into brief historical context, and describe some of the questions for which these protocols are commonly used.

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