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Mol Vis. 2012;18:1-9. Epub 2012 Jan 1.

Effects of bevacizumab on the neovascular membrane of proliferative diabetic retinopathy: reduction of endothelial cells and expressions of VEGF and HIF-1α.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents have recently been used intravitreally during the perioperative period for proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). However, the mechanism of theraputic effects of the agents remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the effects of intravitreal bevacizumab (IVB) on retinal vascular endothelial cells and expressions of VEGF and hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) in PDR.

METHODS:

Twenty-four patients with PDR were enrolled and randomized to two groups. Twelve eyes of 12 patients of each group received either an intravitreal injection of 1.25 mg bevacizumab or a sham injection 6 days before vitrectomy. Neovascular membranes (NVMs) were collected during pars plana vitrectomy. The numbers of vascular endothelial cells in the NVMs were counted after staining with hematoxylin and eosin and von Willebrand. The expressions of VEGF and HIF-1α in the NVMs were detected through immunohistochemistry. Ten epiretinal membrane specimens from patients with proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) without IVB treatment were set as an additional control.

RESULTS:

The number of vascular endothelial cells in NVMs of the IVB pretreated group was significantly lower than that of the sham group (21.5±3.94 versus 41.33±7.44, p=0.003). The IVB pretreated group also showed significantly lower levels of VEGF and HIF-1α in NVMs than those of the sham group (P(HIF-1α)=0.02, P(VEGF)<0.001). A stepwise regression analysis showed that IVB was a significant negative predictor for the numbers of vascular endothelial cells (β=-0.89, p<0.001) and the expressions of VEGF (β=-0.85, p<0.001) and HIF-1α (β=-0.64, p=0.001) in PDR patients. Epiretinal membranes of the PVR group showed negative staining of VEGF and HIF-1α.

CONCLUSIONS:

Pretreatment with IVB in patients with PDR significantly decreased vascular endothelial cells and expressions of VEGF and HIF-1α, which further supports preoperative use of IVB in such patients.

PMID:
22232563
PMCID:
PMC3253067
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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