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M. Elizabeth Hartnett, David Martiniuk, Grace Byfield, Pete Geisen, Gefei Zeng, Victoria L. Bautch; Neutralizing VEGF Decreases Tortuosity and Alters Endothelial Cell Division Orientation in Arterioles and Veins in a Rat Model of ROP: Relevance to Plus Disease. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(7):3107-3114. doi: 10.1167/iovs.08-1780.
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purpose. To study the effects of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) on endothelial nitric oxide synthetase (eNOS) and retinal vascular tortuosity and cleavage planes in a rat model of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).
methods. Within 4 hours of birth, pups and mothers were cycled between 50% and 10% oxygen daily. At postnatal day (p)12, pups received either intravitreous anti-rat neutralizing antibody to VEGF or control nonimmune rat IgG in one eye and returned to oxygen cycling until p14 when they were placed in room air (RA) for 4 days (50/10 oxygen-induced retinopathy [50/10 OIR]). Tortuosity indices and endothelial cleavage plane angles relative to the long axes of the major retinal vessels during anaphase were calculated from phosphohistone- and Alexa-isolectin–stained retinal flatmounts. Some retinas were processed for eNOS protein or phosphorylated/total eNOS.
results. Retinas from 50/10 OIR had increased tortuosity over time with peaks at p12 and p14 (P < 0.001 vs. RA) before the development of intravitreous neovascularization, which peaked at p18. Compared with RA, eNOS/actin in 50/10 OIR retinas was increased at p12 (P = 0.0003) and p14 (P = 0.047). Inhibition of VEGF with a neutralizing antibody decreased tortuosity and caused endothelial mitosis cleavage planes to orient in favor of vessel elongation but did not affect eNOS protein or activation.
conclusions. In the 50/10 OIR model, a model with relevance to ROP, arteriolar tortuosity, and venous dilation are increased through VEGF, which influences the orientation of endothelial cell cleavage in major arterioles and veins, independent of eNOS.
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