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J Cell Physiol. 2009 Jun;219(3):544-52. doi: 10.1002/jcp.21698.

Oxidative stress promotes ocular neovascularization.

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Departments of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins, University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Mice deficient in superoxide dismutase 1 (Sod1(-/-) mice) develop many features seen in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) including choroidal neovascularization (NV). We sought to determine if the absence of SOD1 contributes to the pro-angiogenic environment in the subretinal space or whether it is completely secondary to other changes in Bruch's membrane and the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) that precede the development of choroidal NV. In an ischemic retinopathy model or a transgenic model in which the rhodopsin promoter drives expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in photoreceptor there was significantly more NV in Sod1(-/-) compared to Sod1(+/+) mice. The compromised antioxidant defense system in Sod1(-/-) mice contributes to the pro-angiogenic environment, because treatment of Sod1(-/-) mice with a mixture of antioxidants caused a significant reduction in ischemia-induced retinal NV. Wild-type mice treated with the same antioxidants also showed reduced ischemia-induced retinal NV, reduced VEGF-induced subretinal NV, and reduced choroidal NV at Bruch's membrane rupture sites. These data suggest that reactive oxygen species contribute to several types of ocular NV. This could explain why in the Age-Related Eye Disease Trial, antioxidant treatment reduced conversion from non-neovascular to neovascular AMD and severe vision loss, and suggest that potent antioxidants should be considered for other diseases complicated by ocular NV. J. Cell. Physiol. 219: 544-552, 2009. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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