alexa Selection Strategy of In Vivo Models for Ophthalmic Dru
ISSN: 1747-0862

Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine
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Review Article

Selection Strategy of In Vivo Models for Ophthalmic Drug Development in Diabetic Retinopathy

Reyns Geert E1#, Hu Tjing-Tjing1#, Van Bergen Tine1#, Etienne Isabelle1, Willekens Koen2, Jonckx Bart1 and Feyen Jean HM1*

1ThromboGenics N.V., Gaston Geenslaan 1, 3001 Leuven, Belgium

2Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospitals Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

#Authors with equal contribution

Corresponding Author:
Jean H.M. Feyen
Thrombo Genics NV, Gaston Geenslaan 1
B-3001, Heverlee, Belgium
Tel: 3216751451
Fax: 321671311
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: January 18, 2016; Accepted date: January 25, 2016; Published date: January 30, 2016

Citation: Geert ER, Tjing HT, Tine VB, Isabelle E, Koen W, et al. (2016) Selection Strategy of In Vivo Models for Ophthalmic Drug Development in Diabetic Retinopathy. J Mol Genet Med 10:202. doi:10.4172/1747-0862.1000202

Copyright: © 2016 Reyns GE, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is the most common microvascular complication of diabetes and is one of the leading causes of visual impairment worldwide. DR is a chronic eye disease that eventually can result in legal blindness due to the evolution towards the major vision-threatening disorders diabetic macular edema (DME) and/or proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). Current treatments with steroids, anti-VEGF compounds or retinal laser photocoagulation have shown a significant improvement in visual acuity in the advanced stage of the disease. However, main concerns are possible side effects and/or the relatively large number of clinical non-responders. A better understanding of the biological and molecular pathways not only in DR patients but also in the preclinical in vivo models would aid the development of novel and more efficient (personalized) therapeutic approaches for DR. This review aims to describe the pathways in a selection of diabetic, non-diabetic and surrogate rodent models of pathogenic neovascularization, vascular permeability, inflammation and neurodegeneration. None of these models can mimic the entire human pathophysiological progression but they all exhibit joint pathophysiological features with human DR pathogenesis. These combined features make these models very relevant in gaining a better understanding of the disease etiology and eventually improved strategies for drug screening. Through highlighting the most important biochemical and molecular pathways that these animal models have in common with DR patients, selection of the most suitable model for mechanistic studies and drug screening can be facilitated.


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