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      Fewer Functional Deficits and Reduced Cell Death after Ranibizumab Treatment in a Retinal Ischemia Model

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          Abstract

          Retinal ischemia is an important factor in several eye disorders. To investigate the impact of VEGF inhibitors, as a therapeutic option, we studied these in a retinal ischemia animal model. Therefore, animals received bevacizumab or ranibizumab intravitreally one day after ischemia induction. Via electroretinography, a significant decrease in a- and b-wave amplitudes was detected fourteen days after ischemia, but they were reduced to a lesser extent in the ranibizumab group. Ischemic and bevacizumab retinae displayed fewer retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), while no significant cell loss was noted in the ranibizumab group. Apoptosis was reduced after therapy. More autophagocytotic cells were observed in ischemic and bevacizumab eyes, but not in ranibizumab eyes. Additionally, more microglia, as well as active ones, were revealed in all ischemic groups, but the increase was less prominent under ranibizumab treatment. Fewer cone bipolar cells were detected in ischemic eyes, in contrast to bevacizumab and ranibizumab-treated ones. Our results demonstrate a reduced apoptosis and autophagocytosis rate after ranibizumab treatment. Furthermore, a certain protection was seen regarding functionality, RGC, and bipolar cell availability, as well as microglia activation by ranibizumab treatment after ischemic damage. Thus, ranibizumab could be an option for treatment of retinal ischemic injury.

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          Most cited references 42

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          Retinal ischemia: mechanisms of damage and potential therapeutic strategies.

          Retinal ischemia is a common cause of visual impairment and blindness. At the cellular level, ischemic retinal injury consists of a self-reinforcing destructive cascade involving neuronal depolarisation, calcium influx and oxidative stress initiated by energy failure and increased glutamatergic stimulation. There is a cell-specific sensitivity to ischemic injury which may reflect variability in the balance of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors on a given cell. A number of animal models and analytical techniques have been used to study retinal ischemia, and an increasing number of treatments have been shown to interrupt the "ischemic cascade" and attenuate the detrimental effects of retinal ischemia. Thus far, however, success in the laboratory has not been translated to the clinic. Difficulties with the route of administration, dosage, and adverse effects may render certain experimental treatments clinically unusable. Furthermore, neuroprotection-based treatment strategies for stroke have so far been disappointing. However, compared to the brain, the retina exhibits a remarkable natural resistance to ischemic injury, which may reflect its peculiar metabolism and unique environment. Given the increasing understanding of the events involved in ischemic neuronal injury it is hoped that clinically effective treatments for retinal ischemia will soon be available.
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            Ranibizumab versus bevacizumab to treat neovascular age-related macular degeneration: one-year findings from the IVAN randomized trial.

            To compare the efficacy and safety of ranibizumab and bevacizumab intravitreal injections to treat neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD). Multicenter, noninferiority factorial trial with equal allocation to groups. The noninferiority limit was 3.5 letters. This trial is registered (ISRCTN92166560). People >50 years of age with untreated nAMD in the study eye who read ≥ 25 letters on the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study chart. We randomized participants to 4 groups: ranibizumab or bevacizumab, given either every month (continuous) or as needed (discontinuous), with monthly review. The primary outcome is at 2 years; this paper reports a prespecified interim analysis at 1 year. The primary efficacy and safety outcome measures are distance visual acuity and arteriothrombotic events or heart failure. Other outcome measures are health-related quality of life, contrast sensitivity, near visual acuity, reading index, lesion morphology, serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels, and costs. Between March 27, 2008 and October 15, 2010, we randomized and treated 610 participants. One year after randomization, the comparison between bevacizumab and ranibizumab was inconclusive (bevacizumab minus ranibizumab -1.99 letters, 95% confidence interval [CI], -4.04 to 0.06). Discontinuous treatment was equivalent to continuous treatment (discontinuous minus continuous -0.35 letters; 95% CI, -2.40 to 1.70). Foveal total thickness did not differ by drug, but was 9% less with continuous treatment (geometric mean ratio [GMR], 0.91; 95% CI, 0.86 to 0.97; P = 0.005). Fewer participants receiving bevacizumab had an arteriothrombotic event or heart failure (odds ratio [OR], 0.23; 95% CI, 0.05 to 1.07; P = 0.03). There was no difference between drugs in the proportion experiencing a serious systemic adverse event (OR, 1.35; 95% CI, 0.80 to 2.27; P = 0.25). Serum VEGF was lower with bevacizumab (GMR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.54; P<0.0001) and higher with discontinuous treatment (GMR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.42; P = 0.004). Continuous and discontinuous treatment costs were £9656 and £6398 per patient per year for ranibizumab and £1654 and £1509 for bevacizumab; bevacizumab was less costly for both treatment regimens (P<0.0001). The comparison of visual acuity at 1 year between bevacizumab and ranibizumab was inconclusive. Visual acuities with continuous and discontinuous treatment were equivalent. Other outcomes are consistent with the drugs and treatment regimens having similar efficacy and safety. Proprietary or commercial disclosures may be found after the references. Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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              Endogenous VEGF Is Required for Visual Function: Evidence for a Survival Role on Müller Cells and Photoreceptors

              Background Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is well known for its role in normal and pathologic neovascularization. However, a growing body of evidence indicates that VEGF also acts on non-vascular cells, both developmentally as well as in the adult. In light of the widespread use of systemic and intraocular anti-VEGF therapies for the treatment of angiogenesis associated with tumor growth and wet macular degeneration, systematic investigation of the role of VEGF in the adult retina is critical. Methods and Findings Using immunohistochemistry and Lac-Z reporter mouse lines, we report that VEGF is produced by various cells in the adult mouse retina and that VEGFR2, the primary signaling receptor, is also widely expressed, with strong expression by Müller cells and photoreceptors. Systemic neutralization of VEGF was accomplished in mice by adenoviral expression of sFlt1. After 14 days of VEGF neutralization, there was no effect on the inner and outer retina vasculature, but a significant increase in apoptosis of cells in the inner and outer nuclear layers. By four weeks, the increase in neural cell death was associated with reduced thickness of the inner and outer nuclear layers and a decline in retinal function as measured by electroretinograms. siRNA-based suppression of VEGF expression in a Müller cell line in vitro supports the existence of an autocrine role for VEGF in Müller cell survival. Similarly, the addition of exogenous VEGF to freshly isolated photoreceptor cells and outer-nuclear-layer explants demonstrated VEGF to be highly neuroprotective. Conclusions These results indicate an important role for endogenous VEGF in the maintenance and function of adult retina neuronal cells and indicate that anti-VEGF therapies should be administered with caution.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Mol Sci
                Int J Mol Sci
                ijms
                International Journal of Molecular Sciences
                MDPI
                1422-0067
                31 May 2018
                June 2018
                : 19
                : 6
                Affiliations
                Experimental Eye Research, University Eye Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum, In der Schornau 23-25, 44892 Bochum, Germany; marina.palmhof@ 123456rub.de (M.P.); stephanie.lohmann@ 123456rub.de (S.L.); dustin-schulte@ 123456web.de (D.S.); gesa.stute@ 123456rub.de (G.S.); natalie.wagner@ 123456rub.de (N.W.); Burkhard.Dick@ 123456kk-bochum.de (H.B.D.)
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: stephanie.joachim@ 123456rub.de ; Tel.: +49-234-299-3156; Fax: +49-234-299-3157
                Article
                ijms-19-01636
                10.3390/ijms19061636
                6032266
                29857531
                © 2018 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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