Enter the Inflammasome
In the quest to unearth alternative treatment strategies that don't rely on VEGF inhibition, researchers made some surprising discoveries...
VEGF is something of a Jekyll and Hyde molecule, with both physiological as well as pathological functions (1). Although critical for vascular development, it’s also strongly linked to angiogenic retinal pathologies, such as wet AMD and diabetic macular edema. Intravitreal anti-VEGF injections are the gold standard for treating the choroidal neovascularization that’s associated with such diseases, and although they have transformed patients’ outcomes, they aren’t a panacea. In many cases, their efficacy does not last forever, and there is concern that VEGF inhibition in the retina may lead to thinning and atrophy of the choriocapillaris, photoreceptor degeneration, eventually causing damage to the retina – the complete opposite of the intended result.
Accordingly, researchers continue to seek a better therapy – but finding one may require a greater understanding of VEGF’s role in ocular pathologies, according to Alexander Marneros, of Massachusetts General Hospital. Marneros used a genetically modified mouse model which expresses VEGF-A at two-to-three times physiological levels, with VEGF expression found in the lens, retina and ciliary body, in order to study the protein’s role in AMD pathogenesis. “Identifying the downstream mechanisms by which VEGF-A influences the development of these diseases may lead to new therapies that don’t have the adverse effects of blocking VEGF-A itself,” he says.
Read the full article now
Log in or register to read this article in full and gain access to The Ophthalmologist’s entire content archive. It’s FREE and always will be!
Or register now - it’s free and always will be!
You will benefit from:
- Unlimited access to ALL articles
- News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
- Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Ophthalmologist magazine
Or Login via Social Media
By clicking on any of the above social media links, you are agreeing to our Privacy Notice.