Retinal neovascularization is a major cause of blindness in such disorders as retinopathy of prematurity, proliferative diabetic retinopathy and senile macular degeneration. Because ligation of vitronectin receptor-type integrins appears to be required for the survival and maturation of newly formed but not quiescent blood vessels in several vascular beds including the retina, blockade of this downstream adhesion receptor system was investigated. In a mouse model of hypoxia-induced retinal neovascularization twice daily administration of 1 to 20 mg cyclic α(v)-integrin antagonist peptide per kilogram of body weight reduced capillary proliferation in a dose-dependent fashion - maximum 76% - without obvious side effects. A cyclic control peptide displayed no inhibitory effect on neovascularization. These findings indicate that systemic application of vitronectin receptor antagonists appears to be clinically feasible and is efficient in preventing retinal neovascularization and superior to cytokine-blocking strategies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)