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      Diabetic Retinopathy

      , , ,

      Diabetes Care

      American Diabetes Association

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          Suppression of retinal neovascularization in vivo by inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) using soluble VEGF-receptor chimeric proteins.

          The majority of severe visual loss in the United States results from complications associated with retinal neovascularization in patients with ischemic ocular diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion, and retinopathy of prematurity. Intraocular expression of the angiogenic protein vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is closely correlated with neovascularization in these human disorders and with ischemia-induced retinal neovascularization in mice. In this study, we evaluated whether in vivo inhibition of VEGF action could suppress retinal neovascularization in a murine model of ischemic retinopathy. VEGF-neutralizing chimeric proteins were constructed by joining the extracellular domain of either human (Flt) or mouse (Flk) high-affinity VEGF receptors with IgG. Control chimeric proteins that did not bind VEGF were also used. VEGF-receptor chimeric proteins eliminated in vitro retinal endothelial cell growth stimulation by either VEGF (P < 0.006) or hypoxic conditioned medium (P < 0.005) without affecting growth under nonstimulated conditions. Control proteins had no effect. To assess in vivo response, animals with bilateral retinal ischemia received intravitreal injections of VEGF antagonist in one eye and control protein in the contralateral eye. Retinal neovascularization was quantitated histologically by a masked protocol. Retinal neovascularization in the eye injected with human Flt or murine Flk chimeric protein was reduced in 100% (25/25; P < 0.0001) and 95% (21/22; P < 0.0001) 0.0001) of animals, respectively, compared to the control treated eye. This response was evident after only a single intravitreal injection and was dose dependent with suppression of neovascularization noted after total delivery of 200 ng of protein (P < 0.002). Reduction of histologically evident neovascular nuclei per 6-microns section averaged 47% +/- 4% (P < 0.001) and 37% +/- 2% (P < 0.001) for Flt and Flk chimeric proteins with maximal inhibitory effects of 77% and 66%, respectively. No retinal toxicity was observed by light microscopy. These data demonstrate VEGF's causal role in retinal angiogenesis and prove the potential of VEGF inhibition as a specific therapy for ischemic retinal disease.
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            Effects of aggressive blood pressure control in normotensive type 2 diabetic patients on albuminuria, retinopathy and strokes.

            Although several important studies have been performed in hypertensive type 2 diabetic patients, it is not known whether lowering blood pressure in normotensive (BP <140/90 mm Hg) patients offers any beneficial results on vascular complications. The current study evaluated the effect of intensive versus moderate diastolic blood pressure (DBP) control on diabetic vascular complications in 480 normotensive type 2 diabetic patients. The current study was a prospective, randomized controlled trial in normotensive type 2 diabetic subjects. The subjects were randomized to intensive (10 mm Hg below the baseline DBP) versus moderate (80 to 89 mm Hg) DBP control. Patients in the moderate therapy group were given placebo, while the patients randomized to intensive therapy received either nisoldipine or enalapril in a blinded manner as the initial antihypertensive medication. The primary end point evaluated was the change in creatinine clearance with the secondary endpoints consisting of change in urinary albumin excretion, progression of retinopathy and neuropathy and the incidence of cardiovascular disease. The mean follow-up was 5.3 years. Mean BP in the intensive group was 128 +/- 0.8/75 +/- 0.3 mm Hg versus 137 +/- 0.7/81 +/- 0.3 mm Hg in the moderate group, P < 0.0001. Although no difference was demonstrated in creatinine clearance (P = 0.43), a lower percentage of patients in the intensive group progressed from normoalbuminuria to microalbuminuria (P = 0.012) and microalbuminuria to overt albuminuria (P = 0.028). The intensive BP control group also demonstrated less progression of diabetic retinopathy (P = 0.019) and a lower incidence of strokes (P = 0.03). The results were the same whether enalapril or nisoldipine was used as the initial antihypertensive agent. Over a five-year follow-up period, intensive (approximately 128/75 mm Hg) BP control in normotensive type 2 diabetic patients: (1) slowed the progression to incipient and overt diabetic nephropathy; (2) decreased the progression of diabetic retinopathy; and (3) diminished the incidence of stroke.
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              Vascular endothelial growth factor-induced retinal permeability is mediated by protein kinase C in vivo and suppressed by an orally effective beta-isoform-selective inhibitor.

              Increased vascular permeability and excessive neovascularization are the hallmarks of endothelial dysfunction, which can lead to diabetic macular edema and proliferative diabetic retinopathy in the eye. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an important mediator of ocular neovascularization and a known vasopermeability factor in nonocular tissues. In these studies, we demonstrate that intravitreal injection of VEGF rapidly activates protein kinase C (PKC) in the retina at concentrations observed clinically, inducing membrane translocation of PKC isoforms alpha, betaII, and delta and >threefold increases in retinal vasopermeability in vivo. The effect of VEGF on retinal vascular permeability appears to be mediated predominantly by the beta-isoform of PKC with >95% inhibition of VEGF-induced permeability by intravitreal or oral administration of a PKC beta-isoform-selective inhibitor that did not inhibit histamine-mediated effects. These studies represent the first direct demonstration that VEGF can increase intraocular vascular permeability through activation of PKC in vivo and suggest that oral pharmacological therapies involving PKC beta-isoform-selective inhibitors may prove efficacious for the treatment of VEGF-associated ocular disorders such as diabetic retinopathy.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Diabetes Care
                Diabetes Care
                American Diabetes Association
                0149-5992
                1935-5548
                September 24 2004
                September 24 2004
                : 27
                : 10
                : 2540-2553
                Article
                10.2337/diacare.27.10.2540
                © 2004

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