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Deniz Hos, Felix Bock, Tina Dietrich, Jasmine Onderka, Friedrich E. Kruse, Karl-Heinz Thierauch, Claus Cursiefen; Inflammatory Corneal (Lymph)angiogenesis Is Blocked by VEGFR-Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor ZK 261991, Resulting in Improved Graft Survival after Corneal Transplantation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(5):1836-1842. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.07-1314.
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purpose. To analyze whether tyrosine kinase inhibitors blocking VEGF receptors (PTK787/ZK222584 [PTK/ZK] and ZK261991 [ZK991]) can inhibit not only hemangiogenesis but also lymphangiogenesis and whether treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors after corneal transplantation can improve graft survival.
methods. Inflammatory corneal neovascularization was induced by corneal suture placement. One treatment group received PTK/ZK, and the other treatment group received ZK991. Corneas were analyzed histomorphometrically for pathologic corneal hemangiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. The inhibitory effect of tyrosine kinase inhibitors on lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) in vitro was analyzed with a colorimetric (BrdU) proliferation ELISA. Low-risk allogeneic (C57Bl/6 to BALB/c) corneal transplantations were performed; the treatment group received ZK991, and grafts were graded for rejection (for 8 weeks).
results. Treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors resulted in a significant reduction of hemangiogenesis (PTK/ZK by 30%, P < 0.001; ZK991 by 53%, P < 0.001) and lymphangiogenesis (PTK/ZK by 70%, P < 0.001; ZK991 by 71%, P < 0.001) in vivo. Inhibition of proliferation of LECs in vitro was also significant and dose dependent (PTK/ZK, P < 0.001; ZK991, P < 0.001). Comparing the survival proportions after corneal transplantation, treatment with ZK991 significantly improved graft survival (68% vs. 33%; P < 0.02).
conclusions. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors blocking VEGF receptors are potent inhibitors not only of inflammatory corneal hemangiogenesis but also lymphangiogenesis in vivo. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors seem to have the ability to restrain the formation of the afferent and efferent arm of the immune reflex arc and are therefore able to promote graft survival after corneal transplantation.
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