Accumulating evidence has shown the importance of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in chorioretinal angiogenesis. However, whether or not VEGF is indeed critical for the pathogenesis of subretinal neovascularization (SRN) in adulthood, which is a serious complication of age-related macular degeneration, has to be further investigated. We constructed an adenovirus expressing an entire ectodomain of the human VEGF receptor/flt-1 fused to Fc portion of human IgG (Adflt-ExR): this soluble receptor is secreted from Adflt-ExR-transfected cells. We studied the effect of Adflt-ExR on the formation of experimental SRN. Experimental SRN was induced by intense photocoagulation on the retina in pigmented rats and Adflt-ExR was injected into the femoral muscle. The formation of SRN assessed by fluorescein angiography was more significantly inhibited for 7 days in the Adflt-ExR-treated rats than in the control rats who received either an adenovirus vector encoding LacZ gene or balanced salt solution (BSS). The serum concentration of this soluble receptor increased for 7 days and thereafter gradually decreased. An immunohistochemical study disclosed the fibroblast cell proliferation and inflammatory cell infiltration to be reduced in the photocoagulation spot of Adflt-ExR-treated rats. VEGF plays a crucial role in the formation of SRN and VEGF soluble receptor gene transfection can inhibit SRN. This method will contribute to future gene therapy for age-related macular degeneration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology