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Naomi K. Ozaki, Kay D. Beharry, Kenji C. Nishihara, Yasir Akmal, Jorge G. Ang, Rizwan Sheikh, Houchang D. Modanlou; Regulation of Retinal Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and Receptors in Rabbits Exposed to Hyperoxia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(5):1546-1557.
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purpose. To evaluate the molecular responses of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors to dexamethasone (Dex) and celecoxib (Cel) during hyperoxia and during hyperoxia followed by recovery in room air, in newborn rabbit retinas.
methods. Newborn rabbits at 3 days postnatal age (n = 96) received room air or oxygen (80%–100%) for 4 days, during which they were administered saline (Sal), Dex, vehicle (Veh), or Cel (n = 12/treatment group). Six animals from each group were killed immediately after hyperoxia (or room air) and the remainder exposed to room air for 5 days. Retinal mRNA expression of VEGF121, VEGF165, VEGF receptor-1 (VEGFR-1, or Flt-1), and VEGFR-2 (or KDR/Flk-1) was determined.
results. Hyperoxia resulted in increased retinal expression of mRNA of the VEGF splice variants in the groups treated with Sal, Dex, and Veh, whereas a decrease in VEGF121 was noted in the Cel-treated group. In contrast, retinal Flt-1 receptor mRNA was markedly increased in the Cel-treated group only, whereas retinal VEGFR-2 (KDR/Flk-1) receptor mRNA was suppressed in all the treatment groups. Hyperoxia followed by recovery in room air resulted in a minimal decrease in expression of retinal Flt-1 mRNA in the Sal and Dex groups. Cel treatment abolished its expression.
conclusions. The findings of increased retinal expression of VEGF mRNA in the newborn rabbit in response to hyperoxia are most likely due to species differences. Selective targeting of VEGF121 and Flt-1 mRNA by Cel may represent one regulatory pathway for their anti-inflammatory effects. Further studies are needed to evaluate the therapeutic benefits of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitors for the treatment and/or prevention of diseases associated with neovascularization.
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