Author(s): Yoon KC, Ahn KY, Lee JH, Chun BJ, Park SW,
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Abstract Corneal neovascularization, which occurs in many pathologic states of the cornea, reduces the visual acuity. Recently, we found that the extracellular region of brain-specific angiogenesis inhibitor 1 (BAI1-ECR) has antiproliferative activity through functional blocking of alpha(v)beta(5) integrin in endothelial cells. In this study, we investigated the effects of lipid-mediated subconjunctival injection of the BAI1-ECR gene on corneal angiogenesis induced by epithelial debridement by heptanol in the rabbit. When a pEGFP-BAI1-ECR plasmid was given subconjunctivally 1 week after epithelial debridement, green fluorescence was detected in the corneal stroma with expression persisting for 7 days. To test the effect of BAI1-ECR on neovascularization, rabbits were injected with the BAI1-ECR gene or empty vector two or three times at 1-week intervals beginning 1 week after debridement. When measured with biomicroscopy at 1 or 2 weeks after two weekly injections, BAI1-delivered eyes had significantly less neovascularized corneal area than vector-injected ones in both time periods. Similar microscopic results were obtained after three weekly injections of BAI1-ECR. In quantitative histological examination, the BAI1-receiving eyes showed significantly less neovascular area and number of vessels than vector-injected ones. Also, after two weekly injections, BAI1-delivered eyes had decreased neovascularized corneal area equivalent to that of anti-VEGF antibody-injected ones. These results indicate that BAI1-ECR gene delivery effectively reduces experimental corneal neovascularization and suggest that the BAI1-ECR protein can be used as an angiogenesis suppressor in the eye.
This article was published in Gene Ther
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology