gms | German Medical Science

102. Jahrestagung der DOG

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e. V.

23. bis 26.09.2004, Berlin

Anti-angiogenic effect of Mycophenolate mofetil in inhibition of neovascularization in cornea

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author A. Ebrahimnejad - Department of Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg
  • M. Valtink - University Eye Hospital Dresden, Dresden
  • F. Chalajour - Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg
  • J. Bruemmer - Department of Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg
  • K. Engelmann - University Eye Hospital Dresden, Dresden

Evidenzbasierte Medizin - Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. 102. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft. Berlin, 23.-26.09.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04dogDO.12.01

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2004

© 2004 Ebrahimnejad et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




Clinical observations reveald that the immunosuppressive drug mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) has a potential to inhibit neovascularization of corneal transplants in patients. This study focussed on the influence of MMF on cellular outgrowth and tube formation in corneal tissues in a three dimensional Matrigel™ invasion assay and tube formation assay.


10 vascularized corneas from patients undergoing keratoplasty were considered as case group and 5 non-vascularized donor corneas unsuitable for keratoplasty served as control. Each cornea was divided into three parts for immunohistochemistry, western blot analysis and three dimensional tissue culture.


Case group: Histological analysis showed a high number of blood vessels in the case group with positive staining for CD31, CD34 and vWF. Western blot analysis of isolated corneal cells demonstrated expression of carcinoembryogenic antigen cell adhesion molecule 1 (CEACAM1) and integrin β3. In three dimensional culture of cornea, many fibroblastoid cells migrated into the collagen matrix after 2 d. Vascular-like sprouting and tube formation was visible in collagen gel after 7 d, these structures were observable by phase contrast microscopy for up to 15 d. A 2 d treatment with 0,5-1 μM MMF solution inhibited tube formation. Control group: Outgrowth of fibroblastoid cells, but no tube formation, could be observed.


The assay proves to be useful for further investigation of the possible antiangiogenetic effect of other drugs. The data show that MMF can inhibit tube formation in vitro and by this way may inhibit neovascularization of corneal grafts, as seen in patients treated with MMF after keratoplasty. This effect might be due to an antiproliferative action on endothelial cells. Besides, the presence of CEACAM 1 and integrin β3 in vascularized corneas suggests they play a role in angiogenic processes in the human cornea.