Author(s): Wang S, Sorenson CM, Sheibani N
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Abstract Bcl-2 is a death repressor that protects cells from apoptosis mediated by a variety of stimuli. Bcl-2 expression is regulated by both pro- and anti-angiogenic factors; thus, it may play a central role during angiogenesis. However, the role of bcl-2 in vascular development and growth of new vessels requires further delineation. In this study, we investigated the physiological role of bcl-2 in development of retinal vasculature and retinal neovascularization during oxygen-induced ischemic retinopathy (OIR). Mice deficient in bcl-2 exhibited a significant decrease in retinal vascular density compared to wild-type mice. This was attributed to a decreased number of endothelial cells and pericytes in retinas from bcl-2-/- mice. We observed, in bcl-2-/- mice, delayed development of retinal vasculature and remodeling, and a significant decrease in the number of major arteries, which branch off from near the optic nerve. Interestingly, hyaloid vessel regression, an apoptosis-dependent process, was not affected in the absence of bcl-2. The retinal vasculature of bcl-2-/- mice exhibited a similar sensitivity to hyperoxia-mediated vessel obliteration compared to wild-type mice during OIR. However, the degree of ischemia-induced retinal neovascularization was significantly reduced in bcl-2-/- mice. These results suggest that expression of bcl-2 is required for appropriate development of retinal vasculature as well as its neovascularization during OIR.
This article was published in Dev Biol
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism