Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a vision-threatening disease characterized by choroidal fibrovascular membrane (FVM) formation, choroidal neovascularization (CNV) and choroidal fibrosis. No safe and effective therapeutic method has been developed for the choroidal fibrosis, although anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy can partially shrink the CNV. We recently reported that periostin (POSTN), which is produced by retinal pigment epithelial cells, has an important role in the formation of preretinal FVMs, but its role in choroidal FVMs has not been determined. In this study, we used Postn knockout mice to investigate the role played by POSTN in choroidal FVM formation. In addition, we used a new class of RNA interference (RNAi) agent (NK0144) that targets POSTN and determined its effect on choroidal FVM development. Genetic ablation of Postn had an inhibitory effect not only on CNV formation but also on choroidal fibrosis in a mouse CNV model. NK0144 also had a greater inhibitory effect on both the CNV and choroidal fibrosis than control RNAi with no apparent adverse effects. These findings suggest a causal relationship between POSTN and choroidal FVM formation, and also a potential therapeutic role of intravitreal NK0144 for AMD.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology