gms | German Medical Science

24rd Annual Meeting of the German Retina Society

German Retina Society

17.06. - 18.06.2011, Aachen

Retinal debate: Is bevacizumab superior to laser coagulation in retinopathy of preamturity? – The PROs

Meeting Abstract

  • Tim U. Krohne - Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA; Universitäts-Augenklinik Bonn
  • A. Weidemann - Division of Biology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA
  • E. Aguilar - Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA
  • T. Kurihara - Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA
  • N. Takeda - Division of Biology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA
  • M.I. Dorrell - Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA
  • M.C. Simon - University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • V.H. Haase - Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA
  • R.S. Johnson - Division of Biology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA
  • M. Friedlander - Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA

German Retina Society. 24th Annual Conference of the German Retina Society. Aachen, 17.-18.06.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2011. Doc11rg56

DOI: 10.3205/11rg56, URN: urn:nbn:de:0183-11rg564

This is the translated version of the article.
The original version can be found at: http://www.egms.de/de/meetings/rg2011/11rg56.shtml

Published: June 15, 2011

© 2011 Krohne et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/deed.en). You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.


Outline

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Purpose: Astrocytes perform crucial functions in both developmental and pathological angiogenesis of the retina. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), regulated by the hypoxic response signaling pathway, is essential for these processes. We have analyzed the role of the astrocyte hypoxic response in developmental and pathological retinal angiogenesis using conditional knockout mice and the oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) model.

Methods: Astrocyte-specific (GFAP-cre) conditional knockout mice for VEGF and its upstream regulators von Hippel-Lindau protein (VHL), hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α, and HIF-2α were created. Retinal vascular morphology in these animals was evaluated by immunohistochemistry at postnatal day 7 (P7) and in adult mice. OIR was induced by hyperoxia treatment from P7 to P12, and retinal vaso-obliteration and pre-retinal neovascularization were quantified at P17. Retinal expression of VEGF, VEGF isoforms, and EPO was assessed by RT-PCR.

Results: Conditional knockout of VEGF, HIF-1α, or HIF-2α in astrocytes did not affect retinal vascular development and resulted in a normal retinal vasculature in adult animals. In contrast, knockout of VHL caused a grossly abnormal, hypervascular retinal phenotype associated with increased retinal VEGF expression. This phenotype was rescued by additional knockout of HIF-2α or VEGF, but not HIF-1α. Similarly, in the OIR model, knockout of HIF-2α or VEGF, but not HIF-1α, significantly reduced hypoxia-induced pre-retinal neovascularization.

Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that (i) astrocyte-derived VEGF is essential for pathological, but not developmental, retinal angiogenesis, and that (ii) the hypoxic response in retinal astrocytes is mediated predominantly by HIF-2α, not HIF-1α.

Support: Grants from the National Eye Institute (EY11254) and the MacTel Foundation to MF; fellowships from the German Research Foundation (DFG) to TUK (KR 2863/6-1) and AW (WE 4275/1-1).