Purpose: Retinal neovascularization (NV) is associated with various disorders, such as retinal vein occlusion, diabetic retinopathy, and retinopathy of prematurity, and often causes severe loss of vision. To determine the mechanism of retinal NV and develop new therapy, we developed a mouse model using a photodynamic method. Methods: C57BL/6 mice were injected with rose bengal via the tail vein, and then selected venous points were photocoagulated. Results: All eyes demonstrated venous occlusion on day 1, and capillary nonperfusion areas were observed until day 3. Twenty of 33 eyes (60.6%) developed retinal NV on day 14, confirmed by fluorescein isothiocyanate-perfused retinal flat-mounts and immunochemical and histopathological analyses. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction showed an increase in the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor at the retina on day 7. Conclusions: Because of the simplicity, low cost, and feasibility of genetic manipulations, our model is believed to represent an advance in investigating molecular mechanisms and establishing therapy for retinal NV.
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