Free
Physiology and Pharmacology  |   August 2013
SRPK1 Inhibition Modulates VEGF Splicing to Reduce Pathological Neovascularization in a Rat Model of Retinopathy of Prematurity
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Melissa V. R. Gammons
    Microvascular Research Laboratories, School of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Andrew D. Dick
    School of Clinical Sciences and School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Steven J. Harper
    Microvascular Research Laboratories, School of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
  • David O. Bates
    Microvascular Research Laboratories, School of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Correspondence: David O. Bates, Division of Oncology, School of Clinical Sciences, University of Nottingham Queen's Medical Centre West Block, D Floor, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK; David.Bates@nottingham.ac.uk
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science August 2013, Vol.54, 5797-5806. doi:10.1167/iovs.13-11634
  • Views
  • PDF
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      ×
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Melissa V. R. Gammons, Andrew D. Dick, Steven J. Harper, David O. Bates; SRPK1 Inhibition Modulates VEGF Splicing to Reduce Pathological Neovascularization in a Rat Model of Retinopathy of Prematurity. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(8):5797-5806. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-11634.

      Download citation file:


      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

      ×
  • Supplements
Abstract

Purpose.: Wetested the hypothesis that recombinant human VEGF-A165b and the serine arginine protein kinase (SRPK) inhibitor, SRPIN340, which controls splicing of the VEGF-A pre-mRNA, prevent neovascularization in a rodent model of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

Methods.: In the 50/10 oxygen-induced retinopathy (50/10 OIR) model that exposes newborn rats to repeated cycles of 24 hours of 50% oxygen alternating with 24 hours of 10% oxygen, pups received intraocular injections of SRPIN340, vehicle, VEGF165b, anti-VEGF antibody, or saline. Whole mounts of retinas were prepared for isolectin immunohistochemistry, and preretinal or intravitreal neovascularization (PRNV) determined by clock hour analysis.

Results.: The anti-VEGF antibody (P < 0.04), rhVEGF165b (P < 0.001), and SRPIN340 (P < 0.05) significantly reduced PRNV compared with control eyes. SRPIN340 reduced the expression of proangiogenic VEGF165 without affecting VEGF165b expression.

Conclusions.: These results suggest that splicing regulation through selective downregulation of proangiogenic VEGF isoforms (via SRPK1 inhibition) or competitive inhibition of VEGF signaling by rhVEGF165b has the potential to be an effective alternative to potential cyto– and neurotoxic anti-VEGF agents in the treatment of pathological neovascularization in the eye.

Introduction
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a potentially blinding disease that alters the normal development of retinal blood vessels in premature infants leading to retinal neovascularization (NV). 1,2 During the initial phase, the hyperoxic postnatal environment 3 reduces growth factor production, and induces vasoattenuation leading to a impaired retinal vascular development. 46 Subsequently, vasoproliferation and preretinal NV (PRNV) results, which can progress to retinal NV. Retinal NV predisposes the infant to intravitreal hemorrhages, retinal detachment, and subsequent visual loss. 7  
The development and severity of ROP is a multifactorial process. Factors, including hypoxic/hyperoxic tissue, 8 hypercarbia, metabolic acidosis, 9 temporal development, and gene expression, combine with clinical care to impact ROP pathogenesis. 10 During the second phase of ROP, vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A, hereafter referred to as VEGF) a key regulator of angiogenesis, 11 is upregulated, 12 stimulating NV in ROP. 13 Not surprisingly, VEGF has been identified as an attractive target for the development of novel therapeutics targeting pathological ocular angiogenesis, but anti-VEGF agents, such as ranibizumab or bevacizumab, are likely to prevent the endogenous survival effects of VEGF-A, and VEGF blockade has been shown to induce retinal neurodegeneration. 14,15  
The human VEGF gene is organized into eight exons and seven introns 16 spanning a coding region of approximately 14 kilobases. 17 VEGF is spliced alternatively to form two families of isoforms that differ in structure and function. VEGFxxx isoforms are noted for their proangiogenic activity 1821 and VEGFxxxb isoforms conversely are noted for their antiangiogenic activities. 22,23 A key difference between these families is an altered terminal six amino acid sequence of Ser-Leu-Thr-Arg-Lys-Asp (SLTRKD; Exon8b), compared with Cys-Arg-Lys-Pro-Arg-Arg (CDKPRR; Exon8a) in the VEGFxxx family. 24 It has been suggested that the differences in these terminal six amino acids and, thus, protein tertiary structure, are key to determining the antiangiogenic activity of VEGFxxxb isoforms, preventing robust VEGFR-2 phosphorylation, recruitment of co-receptor neuropilin-1 (NP-1) and downstream signalling. 25,26 The auxiliary splicing factor, serine-rich splicing factor-1 (SRSF1), interacts with an exonic sequence enhancer (ESE) upstream of the VEGF exon 8a proximal splice site promoting VEGFxxx splicing. 2729 SRSF1 is phosphorylated by SRPK1 in the cytoplasm enabling its nuclear translocation 3032 and, once in the nucleus, SRSF1 can bind pre-mRNA and affect alternative splicing. SRPK1 has been identified as a target to prevent SRSF1 phosphorylation, proangiogenic VEGF upregulation, and angiogenesis in vivo. 2729 The SRPK1 small molecule inhibitor, SRPIN340, 33 has been shown to inhibit splicing to VEGF165, but not VEGF165b in retinal pigmented epithelial cells, and promote a modest, but significant reduction in ocular neovascularization in a murine oxygen-induced retinopathy model (OIR). 28  
Knowledge gained from models of retinal diseases have yielded much of what we know about physiological and pathological blood vessel growth in the retina. 10 There currently are two widely accepted OIR models for the study of ROP, the murine 75% hyperoxia model developed by Smith et al. 34 and the alternating 50/10% oxygen rat model developed by Penn et al. 35 Both models consistently reproduce retinal NV, but the 50/10 model in rat is regarded as a more clinically robust model of human ROP. 10,36,37 Like infants suffering from zone II ROP, pups exposed to the 50/10 OIR develop peripheral retinal avascularity, arterial tortuosity, and preretinal NV. 3740 The neovascularization occurs as budding at the ends of the vessels in zone II, similar to that seen in humans, rather than diffuse widespread proliferative angiogenesis throughout the intermediate region of the retina. Furthermore, increased VEGF expression in ROP in the 50/10 OIR model, 38,41 which is linked mechanistically to the progression of PRNV, is also seen at the mRNA level during human ROP. 42 During this study, we investigated the splicing of VEGF during OIR, and tested the specific hypothesis that rhVEGF165b and SRPIN340 would have antiangiogenic effects in the rat OIR model of human ROP. Such a strategy could have the potential clinical benefit of limiting PRNV without the potential adverse long-term effects of ranibizumab. 
Materials and Methods
Isolation of Primary Cells and Cell Culture
Isolations were performed under cell culture hoods in class II facilities using aseptic technique, sterile instruments, and autoclaved solutions. Umbilical cords for human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) isolation were obtained with patient consent from St. Michael's Hospital, Bristol, UK. Cords were stored in 1× PBS and 1% PenStrep (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA). HUVEC were isolated by collagenase treatment of human umbilical veins as described. 43 HUVEC were cultured in EBM-2 supplemented with EGM-2 BulletKit (Lonza, Walkersville, MD). Primary human RPE isolations were performed on human donor globes obtained within 24 hours postmortem from the Bristol Eye bank (Bristol Eye Hospital, Bristol, UK). All human tissues were obtained with ethical approval from the Bristol Research Ethics Committee in accordance with the declaration of Helsinki as revised in 2008. Retinas with choroid-RPE sheets were removed to a Petri dish, finely chopped, and digested in 5 mL Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM):F12(1:1) + GlutaMax (Gibco, Carlsbad, CA) supplemented with 0.3mg/mL collagenase for 15 minutes at 37°C. Digested choroid-RPE sheets were added to 30 mL media (DMEM:F12 + GlutaMax) supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS), 0.5% PenStrep (Invitrogen) and spun at 251g for 10 minutes to pellet cells. Supernatent was aspirated off, pellet resuspended in 4 mL media supplemented with 25% FBS (Gibco), and transferred to a T25 flask (Greiner Bio One, Frickenhausen, Germany). Cells were grown in cell culture flasks (Greiner Bio One) and split at 80% confluence. 
Migration Assay
A series of chemoattractant solutions were made in triplicate with 1 nM VEGF165 and varying concentrations of VEGF165b (0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, and 1nM). Anti-VEGF165b antibody (clone 56/1, R&D Systems, Minneapolis, MN) was added at 0.12 μg/mL to 0.3 nM VEGF165b. Full growth media and serum-free media, were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. Chemoattractant solutions were added to 24-well plates (500 μL/well) and HUVECs, previously serum starved for 15 to 16 hours, were seeded at 100,000 cells/insert in serum-free media. Cells were left to migrate for 6 hours, washed and fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde for 15 minutes. Inserts were stained for Hoescht and nuclei counted at using a 40× objective. 
Semi-Quantitative Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR for VEGF in Human Cells
Conventional PCR was used to detect VEGF165 and VEGF165b mRNA. A total of 5% to 10% of the cDNA was added to a reaction mixture containing 2× PCR Master Mix (Promega, Madison, WI), primers (1 μM each) complementary to exon 7b (5′-GGC AGC TTG AGT TAA ACG AAC-3′) and the 3′UTR of exon 8b (5′-ATG GAT CCG TAT CAG TCT TTC CTG G-3′), and DNase/RNase free water. All samples were run in parallel with negative controls (water and cDNA without reverse transcriptase [-RT]) and positive controls (VEGF165 in a plasmid expression vector [pcDNA] and VEGF165b pcDNA). The reaction mixture was thermo-cycled (PCR Express; Thermo Electron Corporation, Basingstoke, UK) 30 to 35 times, denaturing at 95°C for 60 seconds, annealing at 55°C for 60 seconds, and extending at 72°C for 60 seconds. PCR products were separated on 2.5% agarose gels containing 0.5 μg/mL ethidium bromide (BioRad, Hercules, CA) and visualized under an ultraviolet transilluminator (BioRad). 
Equal cDNA loading was determined by PCR with GAPDH primers (forward: 5′-CAC CCA CTC CTC CAC CTT TGA C-3′; reverse: 5′-GTC CAC CAC CCT GTT GCT GTA G-3′). Primers result in one amplicon at approximately 112 base pairs (bp) after thermo cycling 30 times, denaturing at 94°C for 45 seconds, annealing at 65°C for 45 seconds and extending at 72°C for 60 seconds. 
PanVEGF and VEGFxxxb ELISA
One μg/mL pan-VEGF capture antibody (Duoset VEGF ELISA DY-293; R&D Systems) was incubated overnight at room temperature. The plates were blocked (Superblock; Thermo Scientific, Waltham, MA), and serial dilutions of recombinant human (rh)VEGF165 or rhVEGF165b standards (ranging from 4 ng/mL to 16.25 pg/mL) were added, incubated alongside sample lysates, typically diluted 1:10. The plate was incubated for one hour at 37°C with shaking, washed, and incubated with 100 μL/well of either biotinylated goat anti-human VEGF (0.1 μg/ml; R&D Systems) or mouse anti-human VEGF165b (0.25 μg/mL) for one further hour at 37°C. After washing, 100 μL/well of horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-conjugated streptavidin (1:200; R&D Systems) was added and plates were left at room temperature for 20 minutes. 
The plates were washed, and color change induced with substrate A and B (DY-999; R&D Systems) for 20 minutes under light protection. The reaction was stopped by addition of 100 μL/well of 1M H2SO4 and the absorbance was read immediately in an ELISA plate reader (Opsys MR system plate reader; Dynex Technologies, Chantilly, VA) at 450 nm with a control reading at 570 nm. Revelation Quicklink 4.25 software also was used to calculate a standard curve from mean absorbance values of standards enabling the estimation of VEGF concentration for each sample. 
Western Blotting
Subconfluent cells were lysed in RIPA lysis buffer supplemented with protease inhibitor cocktail (Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, MO). A total of 30 μg of total protein was resuspended in sample buffer, heated at 95°C for 5 minutes, and subjected to SDS-PAGE under reducing conditions. Subsequently, proteins were electrotransferred for 2 hours at 4°C to polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membranes. The membranes then were exposed to primary antibodies (VEGF A20, 1:1000 2.5% milk [sc-152]; anti-VEGFxxxb, [clone 56/1] 1:1000 5% BSA), washed in Tris-buffered saline/0.3% Tween 20, (TBS-T) and incubated with a secondary peroxidase-conjugated antibody at a 1:10,000 dilution. Signals were detected by enhanced chemoluminescence (ECL) substrate. 
50/10 OIR Model
Female Sprague Dawley (SD) rats and their newborn litters were placed in the oxygen chamber within 4 hours of birth, or raised in normoxia. Combined litters of between 14 and 17 pups were exposed to alternating 24-hour cycles of hyperoxia (50% O2) and hypoxia (10% O2). Pups received intraocular injection of 25 ng SRPIN340 or vehicle (saline + 0.05% dimethyl sulfoxide [DMSO]) at p12; or 25 ng VEGF165b, 1μg anti-VEGF (G6-31), or saline at p14. In a previous study of OIR, mouse IgG (control for G6-31) was compared to saline injection and showed no significant difference (data not shown). At p14 pups were removed from the chamber and returned to normoxia until p20. Contralateral eyes were injected with saline controls. On day 14, 17, or 20 pups were culled, unfixed retinas were taken for protein extraction, and fixed retinas were dissected, stained, and flat mounted. The 50/10 OIR model develops vascular tortuosity at P12 and PRNV at P18. Moreover, the peripheral retina remains avascular at P20. Survival rates were in excess of 90% for hyperoxia/hypoxia-exposed neonatal rats and there was no obvious maternal oxygen toxicity. Rats reared in room air were used as untreated normal controls. All animals were treated according to the institutional guidelines regarding animal experimentation, and the ARVO Animal Statement for the Use of Animals in Ophthalmic and Vision Research. 
Intraocular Injection
SD rat pups were anesthetized with an intraperitoneal injection of a mixture of 50 mg/kg ketamine and 0.5 mg/kg medetomidine at time points ranging from P5 to P8 for normal vasculature studies, and P12 to P14 during OIR. Intraocular injections were administered using a 35-gauge needle (P5–P8, 1 μL injection volume) or 33-gauge needle (P12–P14, 2.5 μL injection volume), each injection was sustained for a duration of one minute to minimize loss of solution. Injections resulting in intravitreal hemorrhaging or clouding of the lens were not included within the study. 
Quantification of Pathology and Statistical Analysis
Flat mounted isolectin stained eyes were imaged and images merged to obtain whole retinal pictures. Clock hour analysis was performed on coded samples under the microscope and PRNV scored by two masked observers. ImageJ was used to measure the total retinal area, vascular area, and PRNV area of masked images. Tortuosity was calculated using Image J where the length of the vessel and the length of the line of best fit of the vessel path were calculated, and the two values expressed as a ratio. Statistical analysis was performed using GraphPad Prism software. Means are expressed ± SEM. Clock hours were analyzed using a two-sample Mann-Whitney rank sum test (two-sided) as the data were integral. Other analyses used Student's paired t-test and one-way ANOVA with Bonferroni post hoc unless otherwise stated. 
Results
The 50/10 OIR Insult-Induced PRNV and Increased Proangiogenic VEGF Expression
Compared to normoxia raised age-matched controls, 50/10 OIR retinae stained with isolectin showed the presence of PRNV simulating a characteristic of ROP pathology (Figs. 1A, 1B). PRNV developed from ends of postcapillary venules before the vascular/avascular boundary, and are characterized as intensely stained swellings often merged together to produce a brush border of pathological angiogenesis. Retinae also showed increased tortuosity (P < 0.05, Fig. 1C) of retinal arteries, and a significant reduction in the area of vascularised retina (P < 0.001, Fig. 1D). 
Figure 1. 
 
The 50/10 OIR insult induces pathologies reminiscent of human ROP. Litters of 12 to 14 Sprague Dawley pups were raised with their dams in either normoxia (N) or under conditions of fluctuating oxygen levels (OIR) between 50% and 10% every 24 hours, for the first 14 days of life (white arrowheads indicate PRNV, aa indicates avascular area. (A) Examples of whole flat mounted retinas from p20 rats were fixed and stained for isolectin-B4. Exposure to the 50/10 OIR conditions induced (B) PRNV (P < 0.001, unpaired t-test), (C) increased arterial tortuosity (P < 0.05, unpaired t-test), and (D) significantly decreased retinal vascular area compared to normoxic raised pups (P < 0.001, unpaired t-test). In addition, protein was extracted from P20 rats raised either in N or in OIR, and subjected to immunoblotting using panVEGF, VEGFxxxb, or β-actin antibodies. (E) OIR increased total VEGF expression compared to normoxic controls (left); however, it reduced the number of VEGFxxxb splice isoforms detected (right). Scale bar: 1 mm.
Figure 1. 
 
The 50/10 OIR insult induces pathologies reminiscent of human ROP. Litters of 12 to 14 Sprague Dawley pups were raised with their dams in either normoxia (N) or under conditions of fluctuating oxygen levels (OIR) between 50% and 10% every 24 hours, for the first 14 days of life (white arrowheads indicate PRNV, aa indicates avascular area. (A) Examples of whole flat mounted retinas from p20 rats were fixed and stained for isolectin-B4. Exposure to the 50/10 OIR conditions induced (B) PRNV (P < 0.001, unpaired t-test), (C) increased arterial tortuosity (P < 0.05, unpaired t-test), and (D) significantly decreased retinal vascular area compared to normoxic raised pups (P < 0.001, unpaired t-test). In addition, protein was extracted from P20 rats raised either in N or in OIR, and subjected to immunoblotting using panVEGF, VEGFxxxb, or β-actin antibodies. (E) OIR increased total VEGF expression compared to normoxic controls (left); however, it reduced the number of VEGFxxxb splice isoforms detected (right). Scale bar: 1 mm.
Protein extracted from retinae of normoxia raised (N) and 50/10 OIR raised (OIR) pups was assessed for VEGF expression. Total VEGF (A20; Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc., Dallas, TX) showed a clear upregulation in OIR samples compared to normoxic samples (Fig. 1E, left). However, assessment of the VEGFxxxb isoforms (56/1; R&D Systems) showed a reduction in the expression of certain isoforms. In addition to previously identified bands at 46 kDa (MW of VEGF dimer = 46 kDa), bands were observed at 23 kDa, the expected size of glycosylated VEGF165b monomers, and protein from retinas of rats exposed to OIR showed decreased expression of this product. In addition, other bands were observed in normoxic retinal protein, at approximately 33 kDa (VEGF121b), and 16 kDa (VEGF121b monomer). These bands were absent from OIR retinal protein (Fig. 1E, right hand blot). Densitometry analysis revealed a significant upregulation of proangiogenic VEGF165, but not VEGF165b (46 kDa band, P < 0.05, Student's t-test). 
Recombinant Human VEGF165b Blocks VEGF165 Mediated Cell Migration and Reduces PRNV Comparable to Anti-VEGF Treatment, Following OIR Insult
Endothelial cell migration is a critical component of angiogenesis and it has been reported that antiangiogenic rhVEGF165b can be used to prevent VEGF-mediated cell migration. Here, we have used proangiogenic and pro-migratory rhVEGF165 (1 nM) as a chemoattractant to promote HUVEC migration. Recombinant human VEGF165b dose-dependently inhibited VEGF165–mediated HUVEC migration, achieving significance (P < 0.01, one-way ANOVA with Dunnett's post hoc) at 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, and 1nM VEGF165b concentrations (Fig. 2A). When VEGF165 and VEGF165b were combined to reduce migration by 56% compared to VEGF165 alone, preincubation with anti-VEGFxxxb specific antibody (56/1; R&D Systems) abolished the inhibition on cell migration observed with rhVEGF165b treatment, returning VEGF165-mediated migration to 83.1 ± 7.61% of VEGF165 treatment alone (P < 0.001, unpaired t-test, Fig. 2B). 
Figure 2. 
 
Recombinant human VEGF165b blocks VEGF165 mediated cell migration. (A) HUVECs were left to migrate towards chemoattractant solutions of 1nM VEGF165 + varying concentrations of VEGF165b. Increasing concentrations of VEGF165b inhibited the pro-migratory effect of VEGF165, as seen by a reduction of % migration. (B) Preincubation with 0.12 ng/μL of a VEGF165b blocking antibody 4 hours previously successfully rescued the inhibitory action of VEGF165b over the pro-migratory VEGF165, as seen by an increase of percentage migration relative to VEGF165 alone (***P < 0.001, unpaired t-test).
Figure 2. 
 
Recombinant human VEGF165b blocks VEGF165 mediated cell migration. (A) HUVECs were left to migrate towards chemoattractant solutions of 1nM VEGF165 + varying concentrations of VEGF165b. Increasing concentrations of VEGF165b inhibited the pro-migratory effect of VEGF165, as seen by a reduction of % migration. (B) Preincubation with 0.12 ng/μL of a VEGF165b blocking antibody 4 hours previously successfully rescued the inhibitory action of VEGF165b over the pro-migratory VEGF165, as seen by an increase of percentage migration relative to VEGF165 alone (***P < 0.001, unpaired t-test).
When tested in a mouse model of OIR, rhVEGF165b has been shown to be antiangiogenic to hypoxia-driven angiogenesis in the eye. 44 Here, we have tested rhVEGF165b in a rat model of OIR, a model that better reflects human ROP. 36 Intraocular injection of 25 ng rhVEGF165b, (Fig. 3A), reduced PRNV in the eye following 50/10 OIR insult and was equivalent to anti-VEGF (G6-31; Hoffmann-La Roche, Nutley, NJ) treatment. Retinas from eyes treated with rhVEGF165b showed a significant reduction in the number of clock hours showing PRNV, 2.8 ± 0.31, compared to control eyes in the same pup, 4.1 ± 0.21 (P < 0.001, Mann-Whitney rank sum test, n = 20, power = 99.8%, Fig. 3A). Treatment with G6-31 also demonstrated a significant reduction in clock hours possessing PRNV, 4 ± 0.63, compared to 5.33 ± 0.33 in controls, respectively (P < 0.05, Mann-Whitney rank sums test). Further analysis revealed the total area of PRNV relative to total retinal area, was decreased in retinas from rhVEGF165b (49.4 ± 14.6%, P < 0.01) and G6-31 (57.5 ± 6.6%, P < 0.05) treated eyes relative to their respective control eyes. A positive correlation (rs = 0.71, Spearman's rank correlation coefficient) between PRNV area and number of clock hours showing PRNV was observed (data not shown). In this model we found rhVEGF165b had a consistently inhibitory effect on the development of pathological PRNV, similar to nonisoform specific pan VEGF inhibition (Fig. 3B). We also compared the effects of rhVEGF165b and G6-31 treatment on vessel tortuosity and avascular area. Although neither of the treatments affected the area of the avascular retina (P > 0.05, Fig. 3C), rhVEGF165b significantly reduced arterial tortuosity (P < 0.05, unpaired t-test, Fig. 3D). 
Figure 3. 
 
Recombinant human VEGF165b significantly reduces PRNV and vessel tortuosity in the rat 50/10 OIR model. Litters of 12 to 14 Sprague Dawley pups were raised with their dams under conditions of OIR every 24 hours for the first 14 days of life. At P14 pups received intraocular injections of either anti-VEGF antibody, G6-31 (1 μg), or rhVEGF165b (25 ng) in the ipsilateral eye, and control injections in the contralateral eye. (Ai) Examples of control and treated microvasculature shown (white arrowheads indicate PRNV). (Aii) G6-31 (P < 0.05, n = 8) and (Aiii) rhVEGF165b (P < 0.001, n = 20) significantly reduced the number of clock hours showing PRNV (Mann-Whitney U test), and (B) PRNV area relative to contralateral controls (paired t-test). (C) Neither G6-31 nor rhVEGF165b were capable of significantly reducing retinal avascular area (P > 0.05, paired t-test). However, (D) rhVEGF165b significantly reduced arterial vessel tortuosity. (E) Immunoblot for pan-VEGF and VEGF165b showing expression of VEGF dimers and monomers in uninjected, and expression in rhVEGF165b-injected eyes six days after injection. Densitometry shows a significant upregulation of pan-VEGF, but not VEGF165b, during OIR (*), and significantly increased VEGF165b after rhVEGF165b injection six days earlier (#). *, #P < 0.05. NS, not significant.
Figure 3. 
 
Recombinant human VEGF165b significantly reduces PRNV and vessel tortuosity in the rat 50/10 OIR model. Litters of 12 to 14 Sprague Dawley pups were raised with their dams under conditions of OIR every 24 hours for the first 14 days of life. At P14 pups received intraocular injections of either anti-VEGF antibody, G6-31 (1 μg), or rhVEGF165b (25 ng) in the ipsilateral eye, and control injections in the contralateral eye. (Ai) Examples of control and treated microvasculature shown (white arrowheads indicate PRNV). (Aii) G6-31 (P < 0.05, n = 8) and (Aiii) rhVEGF165b (P < 0.001, n = 20) significantly reduced the number of clock hours showing PRNV (Mann-Whitney U test), and (B) PRNV area relative to contralateral controls (paired t-test). (C) Neither G6-31 nor rhVEGF165b were capable of significantly reducing retinal avascular area (P > 0.05, paired t-test). However, (D) rhVEGF165b significantly reduced arterial vessel tortuosity. (E) Immunoblot for pan-VEGF and VEGF165b showing expression of VEGF dimers and monomers in uninjected, and expression in rhVEGF165b-injected eyes six days after injection. Densitometry shows a significant upregulation of pan-VEGF, but not VEGF165b, during OIR (*), and significantly increased VEGF165b after rhVEGF165b injection six days earlier (#). *, #P < 0.05. NS, not significant.
VEGF165b expression was assessed in protein extracted from unfixed retinas of P20 OIR pups and saline injected eyes were compared to VEGF165b injected eyes. Recombinant human VEGF165b was detected in retinal protein from VEGF165b-injected eyes as a monomer at 23 kDa even six days after its injection, suggesting its stability in the eye (Fig. 3E). 
SRPK1 Inhibition Modulates Proangiogenic VEGF Expression and Reduces PRNV
The SRPK selective inhibitor, SRPIN340 dose-dependently and selectively reduced VEGF165 expression, achieving maximal inhibition at 10 μM (Fig. 4A). Furthermore, treatment with 10 μM SRPIN340 altered VEGF protein expression in ARPE-19 and primary RPE cells. SRPIN340 significantly increased the expression of VEGFxxxb protein isoforms relative to total VEGF in ARPE-19 cells (Fig. 4Bi), which express low endogenous VEGFxxxb levels (Figs. 4Bi, 4Bii), and significantly reduced proangiogenic VEGF expression in primary RPE cells (Fig. 4Bii), which had significantly higher endogenous VEGFxxxb expression (Figs. 4Bi, 4ii). 
Figure 4. 
 
SRPK1 inhibition modulates proangiogenic VEGF expression in vitro. (A) Primary RPE cells were treated with varying concentration of SRPIN340 (1, 5, 10 μM) for 24 hours. RT-PCR was performed with primers spanning VEGF exon 7b and 8b. SRPIN340 switched the expression of VEGF isoforms to favor VEGF165b dose-dependently from 1 to 10 μM achieving significance at 5 μM (P < 0.05) and 10 μM (P < 0.01, one-way ANOVA, Dunnett's post hoc). (B) VEGF protein levels in primary RPE and ARPE-19 were assessed by ELISA. (Bi) SRPIN340 significantly increased the expression of VEGFxxxb/Total VEGF in ARPE-19 cells (P < 0.01) and (Bii) significantly reduced proangiogenic VEGF in primary RPE cells (P < 0.05, Student's t-test). (Biii) VEGFxxxb expression was greater in primary RPE cells compared to ARPE-19 (P < 0.01).
Figure 4. 
 
SRPK1 inhibition modulates proangiogenic VEGF expression in vitro. (A) Primary RPE cells were treated with varying concentration of SRPIN340 (1, 5, 10 μM) for 24 hours. RT-PCR was performed with primers spanning VEGF exon 7b and 8b. SRPIN340 switched the expression of VEGF isoforms to favor VEGF165b dose-dependently from 1 to 10 μM achieving significance at 5 μM (P < 0.05) and 10 μM (P < 0.01, one-way ANOVA, Dunnett's post hoc). (B) VEGF protein levels in primary RPE and ARPE-19 were assessed by ELISA. (Bi) SRPIN340 significantly increased the expression of VEGFxxxb/Total VEGF in ARPE-19 cells (P < 0.01) and (Bii) significantly reduced proangiogenic VEGF in primary RPE cells (P < 0.05, Student's t-test). (Biii) VEGFxxxb expression was greater in primary RPE cells compared to ARPE-19 (P < 0.01).
SRPIN340 subsequently was tested in the 50/10 OIR model. SRPIN340 was injected two days earlier than rhVEGF165b to allow the splicing factor to take effect before the VEGF surge experienced on day 14. 45,46 A total of 25 ng SRPIN340 was injected intraocularly in a volume of 2.5 μl; saline controls were supplemented with 0.05% DMSO and injected at the same volume. Retinas from eyes treated with SRPIN340 showed a significant reduction of clock hours possessing PRNV compared to control eyes in the same pup (P < 0.05, paired t-test, Fig. 5A). This was confirmed by PRNV area analysis showing a 33.3 ± 15.7% reduction in PRNV area compared to control eyes (Fig. 5B). In addition we assessed the effect of SRPIN340 administration on avascular area (Fig. 5C) and arterial tortuosity (Fig. 5D). SRPIN340 had no effect on either vascularity or tortuosity (P < 0.05, Student's t-test). Furthermore retinal protein was assessed for VEGF expression. VEGF expression significantly increased between P14 and P17, SRPIN340 injected eyes expressed significantly less VEGF compared to control, although VEGFxxxb isoform expression was unchanged (Fig. 5E). A single dose of SRPIN340, was capable of significantly reducing proangiogenic VEGF-mediated induction of PRNV, albeit modestly. 
Figure 5. 
 
SRPIN340 significantly reduces PRNV and reduces proangiogenic VEGF in vivo. On day 12 of the OIR protocol, the rats were removed briefly from the chamber and given a 2.5 μL intraocular injection of 25 ng SRPIN340 and vehicle (saline + 0.05% DMSO) in the contralateral eye. (A) SRPIN340 treatment significantly reduced PRNV clock hours compared to control eyes (P < 0.05, Student's paired t-test), example flat mounts shown (white arrows indicate PRNV, scale bar: 500 μm) and (B) PRNV area relative to total retinal area (P < 0.05, Student's paired t-test). (C) Retinas treated with SRPIN340 showed no significant change in vessel tortuosity, or (D) the percentage of vascularized retina, compared to control eyes also subjected to the OIR paradigm. (E) Protein extracted from the retinae of these pups showed a reduction in VEGF in SRPIN340 eyes compared to control injected; however, no change was observed in VEGFxxxb expression.
Figure 5. 
 
SRPIN340 significantly reduces PRNV and reduces proangiogenic VEGF in vivo. On day 12 of the OIR protocol, the rats were removed briefly from the chamber and given a 2.5 μL intraocular injection of 25 ng SRPIN340 and vehicle (saline + 0.05% DMSO) in the contralateral eye. (A) SRPIN340 treatment significantly reduced PRNV clock hours compared to control eyes (P < 0.05, Student's paired t-test), example flat mounts shown (white arrows indicate PRNV, scale bar: 500 μm) and (B) PRNV area relative to total retinal area (P < 0.05, Student's paired t-test). (C) Retinas treated with SRPIN340 showed no significant change in vessel tortuosity, or (D) the percentage of vascularized retina, compared to control eyes also subjected to the OIR paradigm. (E) Protein extracted from the retinae of these pups showed a reduction in VEGF in SRPIN340 eyes compared to control injected; however, no change was observed in VEGFxxxb expression.
Total VEGF Blockade Retards Normal Vasculature Development
To determine whether anti-VEGF, rhVEGF165b, or SRPIN340 affect the development of the normal retinal vasculature, developing eyes were injected at P5 (1 μL injection volume, concentration as before) and control eyes injected with mouse IgG, saline, or saline supplemented with 0.05% DMSO, respectively. Pups were culled at P8 and P12, retinae excised, stained, flat mounted, and avascular area assessed. Anti-VEGF treatment retarded growth of the vasculature leading to a significant increase in avascular area at P12 (P < 0.05, paired t-test). Conversely, 25ng rhVEGF165b and SRPIN340 failed to affect the developing retina at either time point. These results were reproduced when treatments were injected at P8 and pups culled at P12 (Supplementary Fig. S1). 
Discussion
We have demonstrated selective upregulation of proangiogenic, but not antiangiogenic VEGF, while using Penn's 50/10 OIR model to stimulate neovascular growth by cyclically fluctuating oxygen levels. 35 The 50/10 OIR rat model is widely accepted as a clinically relevant model of ROP, 36 resulting in previously described PRNV, increased vessel width and tortuosity, as well an avascular retinal periphery. 35,37,38 We confirmed increased VEGF expression at P20, namely the VEGF164 isoform, 41 coinciding with maximal PRNV. 47 To our knowledge, VEGFxxxb expression has not been investigated previously in this model, although it has been suggested that VEGF165b decreases during mouse OIR. 48 It is likely that the secondary anti-mouse IgG antibody used to detect the VEGFxxxb antibody (56/1; R&D Systems) also will bind to endogenous mouse IgG, which also runs at approximately 46 kDa. For this reason the use of rat tissue can be more illuminating for detection of VEGF165b by mouse antibodies that do not cross-react with rat IgG. Studies in the human fetal eye indicate that VEGF165b was not notable until vascular development neared completion, while VEGF165 was very prominent as the vessels developed, 49 suggesting a developmental regulation of VEGF isoform expression and an ability of VEGFxxxb to “switch off” or prevent VEGFxxx activity. In physiological angiogenesis, for example, during follicular development 50 and wound healing, 51 proangiogenic VEGF isoforms are upregulated selectively. Alterations in the splicing of VEGF creating an “angiogenic switch” also have been observed in pathological situations where angiogenesis promotes disease progression. Proangiogenic isoform expression is upregulated selectively in numerous human cancers 23,24,52 and pathological eye disease, such as age-related macular degeneration. 53 Conversely VEGF165b is upregulated in systemic sclerosis, a disease characterized by a lack of angiogenesis. 54  
We confirmed that the rhVEGF165b used in our study can inhibit VEGF165-induced cell migration, essential to angiogenesis. 55 Previous reports have shown VEGF165b overexpression, 56 and rhVEGF165b treatment inhibited VEGF165-induced HUVEC and HMREC migration, 57,58 but our study also showed rhVEGF165b could be inhibited by preincubation with a VEGFxxxb-specific antibody (Fig. 2B). These controls are important to show the activity of the rhVEGF165b, as C'-terminal exopeptidase activity, or incomplete synthesis of the protein could lead to a truncated form of the protein, such as VEGF159, which has been shown to have no antiangiogenic activity, and some angiogenic activity. 25 This also is the first evidence to our knowledge to show that VEGF165b antibodies can be neutralizing, in the same way that bevacizumab is neutralizing to all VEGF isoforms. 59 The ability of the anti-VEGF165b antibody to block the antimigratory properties of VEGF165b suggests that the C'-terminal region of VEGF165b may be involved in receptor binding, or at least binding to this region interferes with receptor interaction of the VEGFxxx isoforms. 
To evaluate the importance of VEGF in this model a neutralizing antibody to all VEGF isoforms, G6-31 (the mouse monoclonal antibody that was a precursor of bevacizumab), was tested and compared to rhVEGF165b in rat. Human VEGF165b protein activity has been demonstrated when overexpressed in the mammary gland of transgenic mice, 60 and in the rabbit cornea and rat mesentery. 23 Previous reports have suggested that anti-VEGF therapy demonstrates a sustained and significant decrease in PRNV in the 50/10 OIR model. 41 A single intraocular injection of 1 μg G6-31 or 25 ng rhVEGF165b on day 14 significantly reduced the prevalence of PRNV on day 20 by clock hour analysis and by PRNV area analysis, described previously 61,62 (Figs. 3A, 3B). Of particular interest was that SRPIN340, a highly selective SRPK inhibitor, 33 significantly reduced PRNV compared to 0.05% DMSO controls when given as a single IVT injection on day 12 (P < 0.05). This demonstrates that selective downregulation of proangiogenic VEGF isoforms (Fig. 4), but not antiangiogenic isoforms, is capable of reducing PRNV (Fig. 5). Being upstream of VEGF, selective inhibition of SRPK1 and, therefore, the activity of SRSF1, may result in altered alternative splicing of other genes and, thus, introduce potential nonspecific effects, although initial toxicology tests showed gram quantities of SRPIN340 administered to animals resulted in no ill effect. 33 Other downstream targets of SRPIN340 currently are being investigated and it is possible that other angiogenic genes, similarly altered during OIR, also may be regulated by SRPK1. Modulation of SRPK1 activity, therefore, may have the potential benefit of resulting in a coordinated regulation of alternative splicing during disease progression. 
Other studies have investigated whether anti-VEGF treatment affects other characteristics associated with ROP, microvessel density, and vessel tortuosity, and the latter has been linked to a poor prognosis in patients suffering from ROP. 63 In our study we observed that neither G6-31 nor rhVEGF165b was capable of increasing normal retinal vascularization (Fig. 3C), but we did note a significant reduction in vessel tortuosity for rhVEGF165b (P < 0.05, Student's t-test, Fig. 3D). SRPIN340 failed to affect either avascular area or vessel tortuosity (Figs. 5C, 5D). Neutralizing antibodies previously have been shown to decrease vessel tortuosity in this model, 38 but we observed no effect with G6-31 treatment. It would be interesting to determine the effect of a VEGF165 specific neutralizing antibody in this model, but such an antibody has not yet become available. 
PRNV clearly has been identified as the most damaging pathology of VEGF mediated ROP progression; the abnormal growth of vessels increases in line with the increase in severity of ROP, 64 and can lead to the formation of fibrous tissue and retinal detachment. 65 Current treatments for ROP include cryotherapy and peripheral diode laser photocoagulation. Studies have shown laser therapy to be the superior of the two 66,67 ; however, laser therapy poses severe risks, including intraocular hemorrhage and cataract formation. 68,69 With the identification of VEGF as a critical factor in the progression of ROP, 7072 off-label use of anti-VEGF inhibitors has been reported. Lee et al. reported regression of disease and a more rapid development of the peripheral retinal vascular bed after IVT bevacizumab injection combined with laser photocoagulation. 73 The BEAT-ROP trial tested anti-VEGF (intravitreal bevacizumab) therapy in premature babies suffering from ROP. This prospective randomized and controlled multicenter trial for zone I and zone II severe human ROP showed a significant benefit for zone I disease, suggesting an impressive benefit with anti-VEGF therapy. 74 Other studies have suggested treating the BEAT-ROP trial results with caution stating concerns over the safety (there was a nonsignificant increase in deaths in the bevacizumab group, and the trial was not large enough to demonstrate safety), data interpretation (time to endpoint was dependent on time to recurrence, which was greater for bevacizumab, and, therefore, recurrence may have been outside the endpoint, even though it occurred), post hoc determination of outcomes, and alteration of the primary endpoint, 75 as well as highlighting the failing of the trial to examine longer term ocular and systemic side effects. 76  
Previous debates concerning VEGF blockade, 77 which can be damaging to cells and tissues, 78 have shown that perturbation of normal VEGF can prevent normal retinal function. 79 Administration of anti-VEGF therapies in age-related macular degeneration was shown during the Seven-up study to result in retinal atrophy in almost all (98%) of patients followed over the 7 to 8-year period. 80 Moreover, while VEGF-A has been shown for some time to be neuroprotective for retinal cells, 15 it recently has been shown that pan VEGF-A blockade exacerbated retinal ganglion cell death in animal models of glaucoma. 14 We tested G6-31, rhVEGF165b, and SRPIN340 during development, and observed retarded growth of the retinal vasculature following anti-VEGF treatment, but not by a single dose of 25 ng rhVEGF165b or SRPIN340 (Fig. 6, Supplementary Fig. S1). Although VEGFxxxb isoforms are considered largely as being antiangiogenic, 22,23 we have shown previously that rhVEGF165b also is cytoprotective for endothelial cells and epithelial cells, including retinal pigmented epithelial cells. 58 Furthermore, we recently have demonstrated that VEGF165b is neuroprotective for sensory neurons, including retinal ganglion cells in vivo. 81  
Figure 6. 
 
SRPIN340 and rhVEGF165b do not influence normal retinal development. A total of 18 P5 SD rat pups was injected intraocularly (1 μL) with either (A) 1 μg G6-31, (B) 10 ng rhVEGF165b, or (C) 10 ng SRPIN340 in one eye, and 1 μg Mouse IgG, saline, or 0.05% DMSO, respectively, in the contralateral control injected eye. Pups were culled at P8 (n = 3 each group) and at P12 (n = 3). Flat mounted retinae were stained for isolectin IB4 imaged and avascular area quantified using image J. Both rhVEGF165b and SRPIN340 did not affect normal retinal vascularization, whereas anti-VEGF G6-31 (Hoffmann-La Roche) significantly reduced vascularization compared to control eyes at P12 (P < 0.05, Student's paired t-test).
Figure 6. 
 
SRPIN340 and rhVEGF165b do not influence normal retinal development. A total of 18 P5 SD rat pups was injected intraocularly (1 μL) with either (A) 1 μg G6-31, (B) 10 ng rhVEGF165b, or (C) 10 ng SRPIN340 in one eye, and 1 μg Mouse IgG, saline, or 0.05% DMSO, respectively, in the contralateral control injected eye. Pups were culled at P8 (n = 3 each group) and at P12 (n = 3). Flat mounted retinae were stained for isolectin IB4 imaged and avascular area quantified using image J. Both rhVEGF165b and SRPIN340 did not affect normal retinal vascularization, whereas anti-VEGF G6-31 (Hoffmann-La Roche) significantly reduced vascularization compared to control eyes at P12 (P < 0.05, Student's paired t-test).
Conclusions
Here, we have shown that cytoprotective rhVEGF165b administration is capable of reducing pathological PRNV in rats without the need for total VEGF blockade. Unlike anti-VEGF therapy, this treatment reduced arterial tortuosity and maintained the development of the normal retinal vasculature. Like anti-VEGF, rhVEGF165b failed to promote peripheral vascularization during OIR, although some reports suggest VEGF may not be the key mediator of this process. The SRPK1 inhibitor, SRPIN340, mechanistically demonstrated that selectively reducing proangiogenic VEGF isoforms is sufficient to reduce PRNV significantly in this model. Therefore, more potent SRPK inhibitors or targeting other factors involved in the splicing of VEGF may be worth exploring as novel strategies for identifying potential ROP therapeutics. Recombinant human VEGF165b could be an alternative, potentially less damaging therapy to laser photocoagulation, or even anti-VEGF IVT injections in premature babies suffering from ROP. It will be important to determine whether rhVEGF165b treatment leads to long-term complications, toxicities, and systemic side effects, which have been associated with anti-VEGF therapy. 
Supplementary Materials
Acknowledgments
The authors thank John S. Penn (Vanderbilt University) and Xiaolin Gu (Alcon) for key advice and information on setting up the 50/10 OIR model and PRNV analysis. 
Supported by Fight for Sight, Skin Cancer Research Foundation, the British Heart Foundation, Richard Bright VEGF Research Trust, The British Microcirculation Society and NERC, and by the MRC G10002073 (SJH). 
Disclosure: M.V.R. Gammons, P; A.D. Dick, None; S.J. Harper, P; D.O. Bates, Roche (F), P 
References
Ashton N Ward B Serpell G. Role of oxygen in the genesis of retrolental fibroplasia - a preliminary report. Br J Ophthalmol . 1953; 37: 513–520. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Gariano RF Gardner TW. Retinal angiogenesis in development and disease. Nature . 2005; 438: 960–966. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Patz A Fine SL Finkelstein D Yassur Y. Diseases of macula - diagnosis and management of choroidal neovascularization. Trans Am Acad Ophthalmol Otolaryngol . 1977; 83: 468–475.
Chanling T Stone J. Retinopathy of prematurity – origins in the architecture of the retina. Prog Retin Res . 1993; 12: 155–178. [CrossRef]
Hardy P Dumont I Bhattacharya M Oxidants, nitric oxide and prostanoids in the developing ocular vasculature: a basis for ischemic retinopathy. Cardiovasc Res . 2000; 47: 489–509. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Penn JS Thum LA. The rat as an animal model for retinopathy of prematurity. Prog Clin Biol Res . 1989; 314: 623–642. [PubMed]
Foos RY. Chronic retinopathy of prematurity. Ophthalmology . 1985; 92: 563–574. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Katzman G Satish M Krishnan V. Hypoxemia and retinopathy of prematurity. Pediatrics . 1987; 80: 972–972. [PubMed]
Biglan AW Brown DR Reynolds JD Milley JR. Risk-factors associated with retrolental fibroplasia. Ophthalmology . 1984; 91: 1504–1511. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Barnett JM Yanni SE Penn JS. The development of the rat model of retinopathy of prematurity. Doc Ophthalmol . 2010; 120: 3–12. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Qazi Y Maddula S Ambati BK. Mediators of ocular angiogenesis. J Genet . 2009; 88: 495–515. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Ozaki H Yu AY Della N Hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha is increased in ischemic retina: temporal and spatial correlation with VEGF expression. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 1999; 40: 182–189. [PubMed]
Good WV Gendron RL. Retinopathy of prematurity: gone today, here tomorrow? Clin Exp Ophthalmol . 2005; 33: 339–340. [CrossRef]
Foxton RH Finkelstein A Vijay S VEGF-A is necessary and sufficient for retinal neuroprotection in models of experimental glaucoma. Am J Pathol . 2013; 182: 1379–1390. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Nishijima K Ng Y-S Zhong L Vascular endothelial growth factor-A is a survival factor for retinal neurons and a critical neuroprotectant during the adaptive response to ischemic injury. Am J Pathol . 2007; 171: 53–67. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Ferrara N Gerber HP LeCouter J. The biology of VEGF and its receptors. Nature Med . 2003; 9: 669–676. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Vincenti V Cassano C Rocchi M Persico G. Assignment of the vascular endothelial growth factor gene to human chromosome 6p21.3. Circulation . 1996; 93: 1493–1495. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Jingjing L Xue Y Agarwal N Roque RS. Human Muller cells express VEGF183, a novel spliced variant of vascular endothelial growth factor. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 1999; 40: 752–759. [PubMed]
Leung DW Cachianes G Kuang WJ Goeddel DV Ferrara N. Vascular endothelial growth-factor is a secreted angiogenic mitogen. Science . 1989; 246: 1306–1309. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Neufeld G Cohen T Gengrinovitch S Poltorak Z. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors. Faseb J . 1999; 13: 9–22. [PubMed]
Tischer E Gospodarowicz D Mitchell R Vascular endothelial growth-factor - a new member of the platelet-derived growth-factor gene family. Biochem Biophys Res Commun . 1989; 165: 1198–1206. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Harper SJ Bates DO. VEGF-A splicing: the key to anti-angiogenic therapeutics? Nat Rev Cancer . 2008; 8: 880–887. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Woolard J Wang WY Bevan HS VEGF165b, an inhibitory vascular endothelial growth factor splice variant: mechanism of action, in vivo effect on angiogenesis and endogenous protein expression. Cancer Res . 2004; 64: 7822–7835. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Bates DO Cui TG Doughty JM VEGF165b, an inhibitory splice variant of vascular endothelial growth factor, is down-regulated in renal cell carcinoma. Cancer Res . 2002; 62: 4123–4131. [PubMed]
Cebe-Suarez S Zehnder-Fjallman A Ballmer-Hofer K. The role of VEGF receptors in angiogenesis; complex partnerships. Cell Mol Life Sci . 2006; 63: 601–615. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Kawamura H Li XJ Goishi K Neuropilin-1 in regulation of VEGF-induced activation of p38MAPK and endothelial cell organization. Blood . 2008; 112: 3638–3649. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Amin EM Oltean S Hua J WT1 mutants reveal SRPK1 to be a downstream angiogenesis target by altering VEGF splicing. Cancer Cell . 2011; 20: 768–780. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Nowak DG Amin EM Rennel ES Regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) splicing from pro-angiogenic to anti-angiogenic isoforms: a novel therapeutic strategy for angiogenesis. J Biol Chem . 2010; 285: 5532–5540. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Nowak DG Woolard J Amin EM Expression of pro- and anti-angiogenic isoforms of VEGF is differentially regulated by splicing and growth factors. J Cell Sci . 2008; 121: 3487–3495. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Aubol BE Chakrabarti S Ngo J Processive phosphorylation of alternative splicing factor/splicing factor 2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A . 2003; 100: 12601–12606. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Kataoka N Bachorik JL Dreyfuss G. Transportin-SR, a nuclear import receptor for SR proteins. J Cell Biol . 1999; 145.
Ngo JCK Chakrabarti S Ding JH Interplay between SRPK and Clk/Sty kinases in phosphorylation of the splicing factor ASF/SF2 is regulated by a docking motif in ASF/SF2. Mol Cell . 2005; 20: 77–89. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Fukuhara T Hosoya T Shimizu S Utilization of host SR protein kinases and RNA-splicing machinery during viral replication. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A . 2006; 103: 11329–11333. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Smith LEH Wesolowski E McLellan A Oxygen-induced retinopathy in the mouse. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 1994; 35: 101–111. [PubMed]
Penn JS Henry MM Tolman BL. Exposure to alternating hypoxia and hyperoxia causes severe proliferative retinopathy in the newborn rat. Ped Res . 1994; 36: 724–731. [CrossRef]
Cunningham S Fleck BW Elton RA McIntosh N. Transcutaneous oxygen levels in retinopathy of prematurity. Lancet . 1995; 346: 1464–1465. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Liu K Akula JD Falk C Hansen RM Fulton AB. The retinal vasculature and function of the neural retina in a rat model of retinopathy of prematurity. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 2006; 47: 2639–2647. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Hartnett ME Martiniuk D Byfield G Geisen P Zeng G Bautch VL. 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: 3107–3114. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Hartnett ME Martiniuk DJ Saito Y Geisen P Peterson LJ McColm JR. Triamcinolone reduces neovascularization, capillary density and IGF-1 receptor phosphorylation in a model of oxygen-induced retinopathy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 2006; 47: 2639–2647. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Penn JS Tolman BL Lowery LA. Variable oxygen exposure causes preretinal neovascularization in the newborn rat. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 1993; 34: 576–585. [PubMed]
Geisen P Peterson LJ Martiniuk D Uppal A Saito Y Hartnett ME. Neutralizing antibody to VEGF reduces intravitreous neovascularization and may not interfere with ongoing intraretinal vascularization in a rat model of retinopathy of prematurity. Mol Vis . 2008; 14: 345–357. [PubMed]
Young TL Anthony DC Pierce E Foley E Smith LE. Histopathology and vascular endothelial growth factor in untreated and diode laser-treated retinopathy of prematurity. J AAPOS 1997; 1: 105–110. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Jaffe EA Nachman RL Becker CG Minick CR. Culture of human endothelial cells derived from umbilical veins – identification by morphologic and immunological criteria. J Clin Invest . 1973; 52: 2745–2756. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Konopatskaya O Churchill AJ Harper SJ Bates DO Gardiner TA. VEGF(165)b, an endogenous C-terminal splice variant of VEGF, inhibits retinal neovascularization in mice. Mol Vis . 2006; 12: 626–632. [PubMed]
Hartmann JS Thompson H Wang H Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and pigment epithelial-derived factor in a rat model of retinopathy of prematurity. Mol Vis . 2011; 17: 1577–1587. [PubMed]
McColm J Geisen P Hartnett M. VEGF isoforms and their expression after a single episode of hypoxia or repeated fluctuations between hyperoxia and hypoxia: Relevance to clinical ROP. Mol Vis . 2004; 10: 512–520. [PubMed]
Werdich XQ Penn JS. Specific involvement of Src family kinase activation in the pathogenesis of retinal neovascularization. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 2006; 47: 5047–5056. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Zhao M Shi X Liang J Expression of pro- and anti-angiogenic isoforms of VEGF in the mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy. Exp Eye Res . 2011; 93: 921–926. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Baba T McLeod DS Edwards MM VEGF 165b in the developing vasculatures of the fetal human eye. Dev Dynam . 2011; 241: 595–607. [CrossRef]
Zimmermann RC Hartman T Kavic S Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2-mediated angiogenesis is essential for gonadotropin-dependent follicle development. J Clin Invest . 2003; 112: 659–669. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Bates DO Jones ROP. The role of vascular endothelial growth factor in wound healing. Int J Low Extrem Wounds . 2003; 2: 107–120. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Pritchard-Jones RO Dunn DBA Qiu Y Expression of VEGF(xxx)b, the inhibitory isoforms of VEGF, in malignant melanoma. Br J Cancer . 2007; 97: 223–230. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Das A Fanslow W Cerretti D Warren E Talarico N McGuire P. Angiopoietin/Tek interactions regulate MMP-9 expression and retinal neovascularization. Lab Invest . 2003; 83: 1637–1645. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Manetti M Guiducci S Romano E Overexpression of VEGF165b, an inhibitory splice variant of vascular endothelial growth factor, leads to insufficient angiogenesis in patients with systemic sclerosis. Circ Res . 2011; 109: e14–e26. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Lamalice L Le Boeuf F Huot J. Endothelial cell migration during angiogenesis. Circ Res . 2007; 100: 782–794. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Rennel ES Waine E Guan H The endogenous anti-angiogenic VEGF isoform, VEGF(165)b inhibits human tumour growth in mice. Br J Cancer . 2008; 98: 1250–1257. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Hua J Spee C Kase S Recombinant human VEGF(165)b inhibits experimental choroidal neovascularization. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 2010; 51: 4282–4288. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Magnussen AL Rennel ES Hua J VEGF-A(165)b is cytoprotective and antiangiogenic in the retina. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 2010; 51: 4273–4281. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Ferrara N Hillan KJ Gerber HP Novotny W. Discovery and development of bevacizumab, an anti-VEGF antibody for treating cancer. Nat Rev Drug Disc . 2004; 3: 391–400. [CrossRef]
Qiu Y Bevan H Weeraperuma S Mammary alveolar development during lactation is inhibited by the endogenous antiangiogenic growth factor isoform, VEGF165b. Faseb J . 2008; 22: 1104–1112. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Penn JS McCollum GW Barnett JM Werdich XQ Koepke KA Rajaratnam VS. Angiostatic effect of penetrating ocular injury: role of pigment epithelium-derived factor. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 2006; 47: 405–414. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Saito Y Uppal A Byfield G Budd S Hartnett ME. Activated NAD(P)H oxidase from supplemental oxygen induces neovascularization independent of VEGF in retinopathy of prematurity model. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 2008; 49: 1591–1598. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Freedman SF Kylstra JA Capowski JJ Realini TD Rich C Hunt D. Observer sensitivity to retinal vessel diameter and tortuosity in retinopathy of prematurity: a model system. J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus . 1996; 33: 248–254. [PubMed]
Werdich XQ McCollum GW Rajaratnam VS Penn JS. Variable oxygen and retinal VEGF levels: correlation with incidence and severity of pathology in a rat model of oxygen-induced retinopathy. Exp Eye Res . 2004; 79: 623–630. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Chen J Smith LEH. Retinopathy of prematurity. Angiogenesis . 2007; 10: 133–140. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Connolly BP Ng EYJ McNamara JA Regillo CD Vander JF Tasman W. A comparison of laser photocoagulation with cryotherapy for threshold retinopathy of prematurity at 10 years - part 2. Refractive outcome. Ophthalmology . 2002; 109: 936–941. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Ng EYJ Connolly BP McNamara JA Regillo CD Vander JF Tasman W. A comparison of laser photocoagulation with cryotherapy for threshold retinopathy of prematurity at 10 years - part 1. Visual function and structural outcome. Ophthalmology . 2002; 109: 928–934. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Lambert SR Capone A Cingle KA Drack AV. Cataract and phthisis bulbi after laser photoablation for threshold retinopathy of prematurity. Am J Ophthalmol . 2000; 129: 585–591. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
O'Neil JW Hutchinson AK Saunders RA Wilson ME. Acquired cataracts after argon laser photocoagulation for retinopathy of prematurity. J AAPOS . 1998; 2: 48–51. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Aiello LP Pierce EA Foley ED Suppression of retinal neovascularization in-vivo by inhibition of vascular endothelial growth-factor (VEGF) using soluble VEGF-receptor chimeric proteins. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A . 1995; 92: 10457–10461. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Sato T Kusaka S Shimojo H Fujikado T. Vitreous levels of erythropoietin and vascular endothelial growth factor in eyes with retinopathy of prematurity. Ophthalmology . 2009; 116: 1599–1603. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Smith LEH Shen W Perruzzi C Regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor-dependent retinal neovascularization by insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor. Nat Med . 1999; 5: 1390–1395. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Lee JY Chae JB Yang SJ Yoon YH Kim JG Effects of intravitreal bevacizumab and laser in retinopathy of prematurity therapy on the development of peripheral retinal vessels. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol . 2010; 248: 1257–1262. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Mintz-Hittner HA Kennedy KA Chuang AZ; BEAT-ROP Cooperative Group. Efficacy of intravitreal bevacizumab for stage 3+retinopathy of prematurity. New Engl J Med . 2011; 364: 603–615. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Moshfeghi DM Berrocal AM. Retinopathy of prematurity in the time of bevacizumab: incorporating the BEAT-ROP results into clinical practice. Ophthalmology . 2011; 118: 1227–1228. [PubMed]
Gilbert CE Zin A Darlow B. Bevacizumab for retinopathy of prematurity. New Engl J Med . 2011; 364: 603–615. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Raizada S Al Kandari J Al Sabti K. Will the BEAT-ROP study results really beat ROP? Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 2011; 52: 9288–9289. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Hara A Wada T Furuichi K Blockade of VEGF accelerates proteinuria, via decrease in nephrin expression in rat crescentic glornerulonephritis. Kidney Int . 2006; 69: 1986–1995. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Pierce EA Foley ED Smith LEH. Regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor by oxygen in a model of retinopathy of prematurity. Arch Ophthalmol . 1996; 114: 1219–1228. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Rofagha S Bhisitkul RB Boyer DS Sadda SR Zhang K; SEVEN-UP Study Group. Seven-year outcomes in ranibizumab-treated patients in ANCHOR, MARINA, and HORIZON: a multicenter cohort study (SEVEN-UP) [published online ahead of print May 3, 2013]. Ophthalmology . doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2013.03.046 .
Beazley Long N Hulse RP Hua J The anti-angiogenic isoform of VEGF, VEGF165b, is neuroprotective in vivo. Am J Pathol . In press.
Figure 1. 
 
The 50/10 OIR insult induces pathologies reminiscent of human ROP. Litters of 12 to 14 Sprague Dawley pups were raised with their dams in either normoxia (N) or under conditions of fluctuating oxygen levels (OIR) between 50% and 10% every 24 hours, for the first 14 days of life (white arrowheads indicate PRNV, aa indicates avascular area. (A) Examples of whole flat mounted retinas from p20 rats were fixed and stained for isolectin-B4. Exposure to the 50/10 OIR conditions induced (B) PRNV (P < 0.001, unpaired t-test), (C) increased arterial tortuosity (P < 0.05, unpaired t-test), and (D) significantly decreased retinal vascular area compared to normoxic raised pups (P < 0.001, unpaired t-test). In addition, protein was extracted from P20 rats raised either in N or in OIR, and subjected to immunoblotting using panVEGF, VEGFxxxb, or β-actin antibodies. (E) OIR increased total VEGF expression compared to normoxic controls (left); however, it reduced the number of VEGFxxxb splice isoforms detected (right). Scale bar: 1 mm.
Figure 1. 
 
The 50/10 OIR insult induces pathologies reminiscent of human ROP. Litters of 12 to 14 Sprague Dawley pups were raised with their dams in either normoxia (N) or under conditions of fluctuating oxygen levels (OIR) between 50% and 10% every 24 hours, for the first 14 days of life (white arrowheads indicate PRNV, aa indicates avascular area. (A) Examples of whole flat mounted retinas from p20 rats were fixed and stained for isolectin-B4. Exposure to the 50/10 OIR conditions induced (B) PRNV (P < 0.001, unpaired t-test), (C) increased arterial tortuosity (P < 0.05, unpaired t-test), and (D) significantly decreased retinal vascular area compared to normoxic raised pups (P < 0.001, unpaired t-test). In addition, protein was extracted from P20 rats raised either in N or in OIR, and subjected to immunoblotting using panVEGF, VEGFxxxb, or β-actin antibodies. (E) OIR increased total VEGF expression compared to normoxic controls (left); however, it reduced the number of VEGFxxxb splice isoforms detected (right). Scale bar: 1 mm.
Figure 2. 
 
Recombinant human VEGF165b blocks VEGF165 mediated cell migration. (A) HUVECs were left to migrate towards chemoattractant solutions of 1nM VEGF165 + varying concentrations of VEGF165b. Increasing concentrations of VEGF165b inhibited the pro-migratory effect of VEGF165, as seen by a reduction of % migration. (B) Preincubation with 0.12 ng/μL of a VEGF165b blocking antibody 4 hours previously successfully rescued the inhibitory action of VEGF165b over the pro-migratory VEGF165, as seen by an increase of percentage migration relative to VEGF165 alone (***P < 0.001, unpaired t-test).
Figure 2. 
 
Recombinant human VEGF165b blocks VEGF165 mediated cell migration. (A) HUVECs were left to migrate towards chemoattractant solutions of 1nM VEGF165 + varying concentrations of VEGF165b. Increasing concentrations of VEGF165b inhibited the pro-migratory effect of VEGF165, as seen by a reduction of % migration. (B) Preincubation with 0.12 ng/μL of a VEGF165b blocking antibody 4 hours previously successfully rescued the inhibitory action of VEGF165b over the pro-migratory VEGF165, as seen by an increase of percentage migration relative to VEGF165 alone (***P < 0.001, unpaired t-test).
Figure 3. 
 
Recombinant human VEGF165b significantly reduces PRNV and vessel tortuosity in the rat 50/10 OIR model. Litters of 12 to 14 Sprague Dawley pups were raised with their dams under conditions of OIR every 24 hours for the first 14 days of life. At P14 pups received intraocular injections of either anti-VEGF antibody, G6-31 (1 μg), or rhVEGF165b (25 ng) in the ipsilateral eye, and control injections in the contralateral eye. (Ai) Examples of control and treated microvasculature shown (white arrowheads indicate PRNV). (Aii) G6-31 (P < 0.05, n = 8) and (Aiii) rhVEGF165b (P < 0.001, n = 20) significantly reduced the number of clock hours showing PRNV (Mann-Whitney U test), and (B) PRNV area relative to contralateral controls (paired t-test). (C) Neither G6-31 nor rhVEGF165b were capable of significantly reducing retinal avascular area (P > 0.05, paired t-test). However, (D) rhVEGF165b significantly reduced arterial vessel tortuosity. (E) Immunoblot for pan-VEGF and VEGF165b showing expression of VEGF dimers and monomers in uninjected, and expression in rhVEGF165b-injected eyes six days after injection. Densitometry shows a significant upregulation of pan-VEGF, but not VEGF165b, during OIR (*), and significantly increased VEGF165b after rhVEGF165b injection six days earlier (#). *, #P < 0.05. NS, not significant.
Figure 3. 
 
Recombinant human VEGF165b significantly reduces PRNV and vessel tortuosity in the rat 50/10 OIR model. Litters of 12 to 14 Sprague Dawley pups were raised with their dams under conditions of OIR every 24 hours for the first 14 days of life. At P14 pups received intraocular injections of either anti-VEGF antibody, G6-31 (1 μg), or rhVEGF165b (25 ng) in the ipsilateral eye, and control injections in the contralateral eye. (Ai) Examples of control and treated microvasculature shown (white arrowheads indicate PRNV). (Aii) G6-31 (P < 0.05, n = 8) and (Aiii) rhVEGF165b (P < 0.001, n = 20) significantly reduced the number of clock hours showing PRNV (Mann-Whitney U test), and (B) PRNV area relative to contralateral controls (paired t-test). (C) Neither G6-31 nor rhVEGF165b were capable of significantly reducing retinal avascular area (P > 0.05, paired t-test). However, (D) rhVEGF165b significantly reduced arterial vessel tortuosity. (E) Immunoblot for pan-VEGF and VEGF165b showing expression of VEGF dimers and monomers in uninjected, and expression in rhVEGF165b-injected eyes six days after injection. Densitometry shows a significant upregulation of pan-VEGF, but not VEGF165b, during OIR (*), and significantly increased VEGF165b after rhVEGF165b injection six days earlier (#). *, #P < 0.05. NS, not significant.
Figure 4. 
 
SRPK1 inhibition modulates proangiogenic VEGF expression in vitro. (A) Primary RPE cells were treated with varying concentration of SRPIN340 (1, 5, 10 μM) for 24 hours. RT-PCR was performed with primers spanning VEGF exon 7b and 8b. SRPIN340 switched the expression of VEGF isoforms to favor VEGF165b dose-dependently from 1 to 10 μM achieving significance at 5 μM (P < 0.05) and 10 μM (P < 0.01, one-way ANOVA, Dunnett's post hoc). (B) VEGF protein levels in primary RPE and ARPE-19 were assessed by ELISA. (Bi) SRPIN340 significantly increased the expression of VEGFxxxb/Total VEGF in ARPE-19 cells (P < 0.01) and (Bii) significantly reduced proangiogenic VEGF in primary RPE cells (P < 0.05, Student's t-test). (Biii) VEGFxxxb expression was greater in primary RPE cells compared to ARPE-19 (P < 0.01).
Figure 4. 
 
SRPK1 inhibition modulates proangiogenic VEGF expression in vitro. (A) Primary RPE cells were treated with varying concentration of SRPIN340 (1, 5, 10 μM) for 24 hours. RT-PCR was performed with primers spanning VEGF exon 7b and 8b. SRPIN340 switched the expression of VEGF isoforms to favor VEGF165b dose-dependently from 1 to 10 μM achieving significance at 5 μM (P < 0.05) and 10 μM (P < 0.01, one-way ANOVA, Dunnett's post hoc). (B) VEGF protein levels in primary RPE and ARPE-19 were assessed by ELISA. (Bi) SRPIN340 significantly increased the expression of VEGFxxxb/Total VEGF in ARPE-19 cells (P < 0.01) and (Bii) significantly reduced proangiogenic VEGF in primary RPE cells (P < 0.05, Student's t-test). (Biii) VEGFxxxb expression was greater in primary RPE cells compared to ARPE-19 (P < 0.01).
Figure 5. 
 
SRPIN340 significantly reduces PRNV and reduces proangiogenic VEGF in vivo. On day 12 of the OIR protocol, the rats were removed briefly from the chamber and given a 2.5 μL intraocular injection of 25 ng SRPIN340 and vehicle (saline + 0.05% DMSO) in the contralateral eye. (A) SRPIN340 treatment significantly reduced PRNV clock hours compared to control eyes (P < 0.05, Student's paired t-test), example flat mounts shown (white arrows indicate PRNV, scale bar: 500 μm) and (B) PRNV area relative to total retinal area (P < 0.05, Student's paired t-test). (C) Retinas treated with SRPIN340 showed no significant change in vessel tortuosity, or (D) the percentage of vascularized retina, compared to control eyes also subjected to the OIR paradigm. (E) Protein extracted from the retinae of these pups showed a reduction in VEGF in SRPIN340 eyes compared to control injected; however, no change was observed in VEGFxxxb expression.
Figure 5. 
 
SRPIN340 significantly reduces PRNV and reduces proangiogenic VEGF in vivo. On day 12 of the OIR protocol, the rats were removed briefly from the chamber and given a 2.5 μL intraocular injection of 25 ng SRPIN340 and vehicle (saline + 0.05% DMSO) in the contralateral eye. (A) SRPIN340 treatment significantly reduced PRNV clock hours compared to control eyes (P < 0.05, Student's paired t-test), example flat mounts shown (white arrows indicate PRNV, scale bar: 500 μm) and (B) PRNV area relative to total retinal area (P < 0.05, Student's paired t-test). (C) Retinas treated with SRPIN340 showed no significant change in vessel tortuosity, or (D) the percentage of vascularized retina, compared to control eyes also subjected to the OIR paradigm. (E) Protein extracted from the retinae of these pups showed a reduction in VEGF in SRPIN340 eyes compared to control injected; however, no change was observed in VEGFxxxb expression.
Figure 6. 
 
SRPIN340 and rhVEGF165b do not influence normal retinal development. A total of 18 P5 SD rat pups was injected intraocularly (1 μL) with either (A) 1 μg G6-31, (B) 10 ng rhVEGF165b, or (C) 10 ng SRPIN340 in one eye, and 1 μg Mouse IgG, saline, or 0.05% DMSO, respectively, in the contralateral control injected eye. Pups were culled at P8 (n = 3 each group) and at P12 (n = 3). Flat mounted retinae were stained for isolectin IB4 imaged and avascular area quantified using image J. Both rhVEGF165b and SRPIN340 did not affect normal retinal vascularization, whereas anti-VEGF G6-31 (Hoffmann-La Roche) significantly reduced vascularization compared to control eyes at P12 (P < 0.05, Student's paired t-test).
Figure 6. 
 
SRPIN340 and rhVEGF165b do not influence normal retinal development. A total of 18 P5 SD rat pups was injected intraocularly (1 μL) with either (A) 1 μg G6-31, (B) 10 ng rhVEGF165b, or (C) 10 ng SRPIN340 in one eye, and 1 μg Mouse IgG, saline, or 0.05% DMSO, respectively, in the contralateral control injected eye. Pups were culled at P8 (n = 3 each group) and at P12 (n = 3). Flat mounted retinae were stained for isolectin IB4 imaged and avascular area quantified using image J. Both rhVEGF165b and SRPIN340 did not affect normal retinal vascularization, whereas anti-VEGF G6-31 (Hoffmann-La Roche) significantly reduced vascularization compared to control eyes at P12 (P < 0.05, Student's paired t-test).
×
×

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.

×