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VEGF188 promotes corneal reinnervation after injury

Brash, JT; Denti, L; Ruhrberg, C; Bucher, F; (2019) VEGF188 promotes corneal reinnervation after injury. JCI Insight , 4 (21) , Article e130979. 10.1172/jci.insight.130979. Green open access

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Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF) induces angiogenesis and vascular hyperpermeability in ocular tissues and is therefore a key therapeutic target for eye conditions in which these processes are dysregulated. In contrast, the therapeutic potential of VEGF's neurotrophic roles in the eye has remained unexploited. In particular, it is not known whether modulating levels of any of the 3 major alternatively spliced VEGF isoforms might provide a therapeutic approach to promote neural health in the eye without inducing vascular pathology. Here, we have used a variety of mouse models to demonstrate differences in overall VEGF levels and VEGF isoform ratios across tissues in the healthy eye. We further show that VEGF isoform expression was differentially regulated in retinal versus corneal disease models. Among the 3 major isoforms - termed VEGF120, VEGF164, and VEGF188 - VEGF188 was upregulated to the greatest extent in injured cornea, where it was both necessary and sufficient for corneal nerve regeneration. Moreover, topical VEGF188 application further promoted corneal nerve regeneration without inducing pathological neovascularization. VEGF isoform modulation should therefore be explored further for its potential in promoting neural health in the eye.

Type: Article
Title: VEGF188 promotes corneal reinnervation after injury
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1172/jci.insight.130979
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.130979
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Cardiovascular disease, Neurodegeneration, Ophthalmology, growth factors
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10085245
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