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Placental growth factor contributes to micro-vascular abnormalization and blood-retinal barrier breakdown in diabetic retinopathy.

Authors: Kowalczuk, L  Touchard, E  Omri, S  Jonet, L  Klein, C  Valamanes, F  Berdugo, M  Bigey, P  Massin, P  Jeanny, JC  Behar-Cohen, F 
Citation: Kowalczuk L, etal., PLoS One. 2011 Mar 7;6(3):e17462.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:21408222
DOI: Full-text: DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0017462

OBJECTIVE: There are controversies regarding the pro-angiogenic activity of placental growth factor (PGF) in diabetic retinopathy (DR). For a better understanding of its role on the retina, we have evaluated the effect of a sustained PGF over-expression in rat ocular media, using ciliary muscle electrotransfer (ET) of a plasmid encoding rat PGF-1 (pVAX2-rPGF-1). MATERIALS AND METHODS: pVAX2-rPGF-1 ET in the ciliary muscle (200 V/cm) was achieved in non diabetic and diabetic rat eyes. Control eyes received saline or naked plasmid ET. Clinical follow up was carried out over three months using slit lamp examination and fluorescein angiography. After the control of rPGF-1 expression, PGF-induced effects on retinal vasculature and on the blood-external barrier were evaluated respectively by lectin and occludin staining on flat-mounts. Ocular structures were visualized through histological analysis. RESULTS: After fifteen days of rPGF-1 over-expression in normal eyes, tortuous and dilated capillaries were observed. At one month, microaneurysms and moderate vascular sprouts were detected in mid retinal periphery in vivo and on retinal flat-mounts. At later stages, retinal pigmented epithelial cells demonstrated morphological abnormalities and junction ruptures. In diabetic retinas, PGF expression rose between 2 and 5 months, and, one month after ET, rPGF-1 over-expression induced glial activation and proliferation. CONCLUSION: This is the first demonstration that sustained intraocular PGF production induces vascular and retinal changes similar to those observed in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. PGF and its receptor Flt-1 may therefore be looked upon as a potential regulatory target at this stage of the disease.


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CRRD Object Information
CRRD ID: 6483775
Created: 2012-05-31
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2012-05-31
Status: ACTIVE


RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.