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Jeremy A. Lavine, Mitra Farnoodian, Shoujian Wang, Soesiawati R. Darjatmoko, Lynda S. Wright, David M. Gamm, Michael S. Ip, Christine M. Sorenson, Nader Sheibani; β2–Adrenergic Receptor Antagonism Attenuates CNV Through Inhibition of VEGF and IL-6 Expression. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(1):299-308. doi: 10.1167/iovs.16-20204.
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The role of β–adrenergic receptor (AR) signaling in neovascular ocular diseases has recently emerged. We have previously reported that intraperitoneal propranolol inhibits choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in vivo and β2-AR blockade reduces vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in mouse retinal pigment epithelium and choroidal endothelial cells in culture. Here we tested the hypothesis that the β2-AR regulates CNV through modulation of VEGF and inflammatory cytokine expression.
Mice were subjected to laser burns, inducing CNV, and were treated with an intravitreal β2-AR antagonist. After 3 and 5 days, total eye interleukin-6 (IL-6) and VEGF protein levels were measured, respectively. After 14 days, CNV was measured on choroidal–scleral flatmounts. The effects of β-AR signaling on VEGF and IL-6 expression were investigated in various mouse retinal and human RPE cells by using specific β-AR agonists and antagonists.
β2–Adrenergic receptor signaling increased Vegf mRNA expression by approximately 3- to 4-fold in mouse retinal microglia and pericytes in culture. β2–Adrenergic receptor signaling upregulated IL-6 mRNA expression between 10- and 60-fold in mouse retinal microglia, pericytes, RPE, and choroidal endothelial cells in culture. Intravitreal injection of β2-AR antagonist ICI 118,551 reduced CNV by 35% and decreased IL-6 protein levels by approximately 50%. In primary human RPE cells, β2-AR activation also stimulated VEGF and IL-6 mRNA expression by 2- and 10-fold, respectively.
Anti-VEGF therapy for CNV is highly effective; however, some patients are resistant to therapy while others undergo repeated, frequent treatments. β2–Adrenergic receptor signaling is a potential therapeutic target because of its angiogenic and inflammatory properties.
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