Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protecting vessel loss in the eyes of premature infants

02.07.2003


As premature infants often have under-developed lungs, oxygen is administered following birth. One devastating side effect, however, is the development of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), whereupon oxygen administration to the infant suppresses the expression of essential growth factors that promote the development of retinal blood vessels, resulting in blindness. In the July 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, a study by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital, Boston investigating the development of the retinal vasculature in mice demonstrates that specific activation of the receptor VEGFR-1 by the growth factor PlGF-1 protects against oxygen-induced vessel loss.



ROP occurs in two distinct stages. First, exposure to high levels of oxygen causes obliteration of immature retinal vessels. The second phase, initiated upon return to breathing normal air, results in an adverse overcompensation of new vessel growth. The new vessels are excessive in number and often leaky. The inner membrane of the retina can be breached, whereby vessels grow into the vitreous of the eye causing retinal detachment and blindness.

The process of vasculature development is mediated in part by the growth factor VEGF. It had been shown previously that vessels can be rescued by administration of VEGF, suggesting that VEGF might be used in the treatment of ROP. However, this theory presents a double-edged sword as VEGF also stimulates abnormal vessel growth that can ultimately result in leaky vessels.


In order to wisely skirt this catastrophic event, Lois E. H. Smith and colleagues utilized placental growth factor-1 (PlGF-1), which exclusively activates the VEGF receptor-1 (VEGFR-1). The authors demonstrate that the administration of PlGF-1 protects against oxygen-induced vessel loss without provoking neovascularization. Unlike VEGF, which interacts with both forms of the VEGF receptor (VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2), PlGF-1 only binds VEGFR-1.

These results suggest that PlGF-1 could be harnessed as a therapeutic agent to stabilize vessel growth. "Clearly, the case of ROP is unique, considering the defined nature of the pathogenic insult, its relatively short duration, and its predetermined onset. These characteristics, in conjunction with the fact that the vitreous is a close, immunoprivileged compartment and that the superficial retinal vessels are accessible to injected reagents, increase the likelihood of success" states Dr. Eli Keshet, from the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem, Israel in his accompanying commentary. In addition, as it is the specific activation of VEGFR-1, and not VEGFR-2, that protects against oxygen-induced vessel loss, targeting VEGFR-1 with additional pharmacological activators may also control vessel degeneration in ROP and other retinopathies.



TITLE: Selective stimulation of VEGFR-1 prevents oxygen-induced retinal vascular degeneration in retinopathy of prematurity

AUTHOR CONTACT:
Lois E. H. Smith
The Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Phone: 617-355-6499
Fax: 617-734-5731
Email: lois.smith@tch.harvard.edu
View the PDF of this article at: https://www.the-jci.org/press/17808.pdf

ACCOMPANYING COMMENTARY:
Preventing pathological regression of blood vessels

AUTHOR CONTACT:
Eli Keshet
The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.
Phone: 972-2-6758496
Fax: 972-2-6757195
Email: keshet@cc.huji.ac.il
View the PDF of this commentary at: https://www.the-jci.org/press/19093.pdf

Brooke Grindlinger | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jci.org/
http://www.the-jci.org/press/17808.pdf
http://www.the-jci.org/press/19093.pdf

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Lung images of twins with asthma add to understanding of the disease
06.12.2019 | University of Western Ontario

nachricht Between Arousal and Inhibition
06.12.2019 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Developing a digital twin

University of Texas and MIT researchers create virtual UAVs that can predict vehicle health, enable autonomous decision-making

In the not too distant future, we can expect to see our skies filled with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) delivering packages, maybe even people, from location...

Im Focus: The coldest reaction

With ultracold chemistry, researchers get a first look at exactly what happens during a chemical reaction

The coldest chemical reaction in the known universe took place in what appears to be a chaotic mess of lasers. The appearance deceives: Deep within that...

Im Focus: How do scars form? Fascia function as a repository of mobile scar tissue

Abnormal scarring is a serious threat resulting in non-healing chronic wounds or fibrosis. Scars form when fibroblasts, a type of cell of connective tissue, reach wounded skin and deposit plugs of extracellular matrix. Until today, the question about the exact anatomical origin of these fibroblasts has not been answered. In order to find potential ways of influencing the scarring process, the team of Dr. Yuval Rinkevich, Group Leader for Regenerative Biology at the Institute of Lung Biology and Disease at Helmholtz Zentrum München, aimed to finally find an answer. As it was already known that all scars derive from a fibroblast lineage expressing the Engrailed-1 gene - a lineage not only present in skin, but also in fascia - the researchers intentionally tried to understand whether or not fascia might be the origin of fibroblasts.

Fibroblasts kit - ready to heal wounds

Im Focus: McMaster researcher warns plastic pollution in Great Lakes growing concern to ecosystem

Research from a leading international expert on the health of the Great Lakes suggests that the growing intensity and scale of pollution from plastics poses serious risks to human health and will continue to have profound consequences on the ecosystem.

In an article published this month in the Journal of Waste Resources and Recycling, Gail Krantzberg, a professor in the Booth School of Engineering Practice...

Im Focus: Machine learning microscope adapts lighting to improve diagnosis

Prototype microscope teaches itself the best illumination settings for diagnosing malaria

Engineers at Duke University have developed a microscope that adapts its lighting angles, colors and patterns while teaching itself the optimal...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The Future of Work

03.12.2019 | Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solving the mystery of carbon on ocean floor

06.12.2019 | Earth Sciences

Chip-based optical sensor detects cancer biomarker in urine

06.12.2019 | Life Sciences

A platform for stable quantum computing, a playground for exotic physics

06.12.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>