June 1996
Volume 37, Issue 7
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Articles  |   June 1996
Cloning and mRNA expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in ischemic retinas of Macaca fascicularis.
Author Affiliations
  • D T Shima
    Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • A Gougos
    Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • J W Miller
    Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • M Tolentino
    Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • G Robinson
    Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • A P Adamis
    Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • P A D'Amore
    Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 1996, Vol.37, 1334-1340. doi:
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      D T Shima, A Gougos, J W Miller, M Tolentino, G Robinson, A P Adamis, P A D'Amore; Cloning and mRNA expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in ischemic retinas of Macaca fascicularis.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1996;37(7):1334-1340.

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Abstract

PURPOSE: To identify and isolate cDNAs for the alternatively spliced vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNAs present in retina and to compare the relative levels of the splice variants and localization of VEGF mRNA in nonischemic and ischemic adult simian retinas. METHODS: Retinas of cynomolgous monkeys were made ischemic by laser occlusion of the main branch retinal veins. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction was used to amplify the VEGF coding region of RNA from ischemic and control retinas, and amplification products were analyzed by agarose gel electrophoresis, Southern blot, and nucleotide sequencing. Analysis of VEGF mRNA expression was accomplished by in situ hybridization. RESULTS: Control and ischemic retinas produce mRNAs that correspond to the 121 and 165 amino acid diffusible isoforms of VEGF, and relatively low levels of VEGF189, the heparin-binding isoform. There was no significant difference in the levels of the alternatively spliced VEGF transcripts between control and ischemic retinas. Cloning and sequencing revealed that simVEGF cDNAs are 99% identical to human VEGFs and are predicted to encode proteins identical to their respective human homologues. In situ hybridization of nonischemic retinas revealed a low level of VEGF mRNA in retinal ganglion cells and in the inner nuclear layer. VEGF mRNA levels were elevated in ischemic retinas as early as 1 day after laser vein occlusion, when there was a small but reproducible increase in signal. The expression peaked at approximately 13 days, coincident with maximal iris neovascularization, and was significantly reduced by 28 days, when the iris vessels largely regressed. CONCLUSIONS: The elevation of simVEGF121 and VEGF165 in ischemic retinas is consistent with a role for diffusible, retina-derived angiogenic factors in the development of ocular neovascularization.

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