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Targeting VEGF in canine oxygen-induced retinopathy - a model for human retinopathy of prematurity

Authors McLeod DS, Lutty G

Received 6 October 2015

Accepted for publication 8 January 2016

Published 20 May 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 55—65


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Professor Margaret Wong-Riley

D Scott McLeod, Gerard A Lutty

Department of Ophthalmology, Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD, USA

Abstract: Development of the dog superficial retinal vasculature is similar to the mechanism of human retinal vasculature development; they both develop by vasculogenesis, differentiation, and assembly of vascular precursors called angioblasts. Canine oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) was first developed by Arnall Patz in an effort to experimentally determine the effects of hyperoxia on the development of the retinal vasculature. The canine OIR model has many characteristics in common with human retinopathy of prematurity. Exposure of 1-day-old dogs to hyperoxia for 4 days causes a vaso-obliteration throughout the retina. Vasoproliferation, after the animals have returned to room air, is robust. The initial small preretinal neovascular formations anastomose to form large preretinal membranes that eventually cause tractional retinal folds. The end-stage pathology of the canine model is similar to stage IV human retinopathy of prematurity. Therefore, canine OIR is an excellent forum to evaluate the response to drugs targeting VEGF and its receptors. Evaluation of an antibody to VEGF-R2 and the VEGF-Trap demonstrated that doses should be titered down so that preretinal neovascularization is inhibited but retinal revascularization is able to proceed, vascularizing peripheral retina and preventing it from being a source of VEGF.

Keywords: angioblasts, blood vessels, endothelial cells, oxygen, retinopathy, retina, vascular endothelial cell growth factor

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