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J Vis Exp. 2013 Jul 9;(77):e50546. doi: 10.3791/50546.

Whole mount immunofluorescent staining of the neonatal mouse retina to investigate angiogenesis in vivo.

Author information

1
Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, Australia.

Abstract

Angiogenesis is the complex process of new blood vessel formation defined by the sprouting of new blood vessels from a pre-existing vessel network. Angiogenesis plays a key role not only in normal development of organs and tissues, but also in many diseases in which blood vessel formation is dysregulated, such as cancer, blindness and ischemic diseases. In adult life, blood vessels are generally quiescent so angiogenesis is an important target for novel drug development to try and regulate new vessel formation specifically in disease. In order to better understand angiogenesis and to develop appropriate strategies to regulate it, models are required that accurately reflect the different biological steps that are involved. The mouse neonatal retina provides an excellent model of angiogenesis because arteries, veins and capillaries develop to form a vascular plexus during the first week after birth. This model also has the advantage of having a two-dimensional (2D) structure making analysis straightforward compared with the complex 3D anatomy of other vascular networks. By analyzing the retinal vascular plexus at different times after birth, it is possible to observe the various stages of angiogenesis under the microscope. This article demonstrates a straightforward procedure for analyzing the vasculature of a mouse retina using fluorescent staining with isolectin and vascular specific antibodies.

PMID:
23892721
PMCID:
PMC3732076
DOI:
10.3791/50546
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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