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Biomaterials. 2011 Mar;32(7):1865-71. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.11.030. Epub 2010 Dec 9.

The inhibition of retinal neovascularization by gold nanoparticles via suppression of VEGFR-2 activation.

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Fight against Angiogenesis-Related Blindness Laboratory, Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Seoul National University & Seoul Artificial Eye Center Clinical Research Institute, Seoul National University Hospital, 28 Yongon-dong, Chongno-gu, Seoul 110-744, Republic of Korea.


The pathological angiogenesis in the retina is the major cause of vision loss at all ages. In particular, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a leading cause of blindness in children. This study investigated whether gold nanoparticle (GNP) could inhibit retinal neovascularization in the animal model of ROP. Intravitreal injection of GNP significantly inhibited retinal neovascularization in the mouse model of ROP. In addition, GNP effectively suppressed VEGF-induced in vitro angiogenesis of retinal microvascular endothelial cells including proliferation, migration and capillary-like networks formation. GNP blocked VEGF-induced auto-phosphorylation of VEGFR-2 to inhibit consequently ERK 1/2 activation. GNP never affected on the cellular viability of retinal microvascular endothelial cells and induced no retinal toxicity. Our data suggest that GNP could be a potent inhibitor to retinal neovascularization without retinal toxicity. Furthermore, GNP could be extensively applied to variable vaso-proliferative retinopathies mediated by VEGF.

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