Suppression of diabetic retinopathy with angiopoietin-1

Am J Pathol. 2002 May;160(5):1683-93. doi: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)61115-7.

Abstract

Diabetic retinopathy remains a leading cause of irreversible blindness. A critical early pathology in the disease is the adhesion of leukocytes to the retinal vasculature, a process that occurs, in part, via intercellular adhesion molecule-1. Once leukocyte adhesion occurs, endothelial cell injury ensues, as does blood-retinal barrier breakdown. Here we show that angiopoietin-1 can prevent and reverse these diabetic retinal vascular changes in both new and established diabetes. Angiopoietin-1, when given intravitreally to newly diabetic rats, normalized retinal vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 mRNA and protein levels, leading to reductions in leukocyte adhesion, endothelial cell injury, and blood-retinal barrier breakdown. When an adenovirus coding for angiopoietin-1 was given systemically to mice with established diabetes, it similarly inhibited leukocyte adhesion and endothelial cell injury and blood-retinal barrier breakdown. These changes coincided with reductions in retinal eNOS, nitric oxide, Akt (protein kinase B), and MAP kinase activity, known mediators of VEGF bioactivity and leukocyte adhesion. When endogenous VEGF bioactivity was inhibited with a soluble Flt-1/Fc chimera, retinal Akt kinase activity was significantly reduced in vivo. Taken together, these data document new vascular and anti-inflammatory bioactivities for angiopoietin-1 and identify it as the first naturally occurring protein that directly protects the retinal vasculature in diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Angiopoietin-1
  • Animals
  • Blood-Retinal Barrier / drug effects
  • Cattle
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / drug therapy*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / metabolism
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / pathology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / genetics
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / genetics
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism
  • Leukocytes / cytology
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Lymphokines / genetics
  • Lymphokines / metabolism
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / pharmacology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / therapeutic use*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / drug effects
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / biosynthesis
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / drug effects
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • RNA, Messenger / drug effects
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Retina / drug effects
  • Retina / metabolism
  • Retina / pathology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors

Substances

  • Angiopoietin-1
  • Angpt1 protein, mouse
  • Angpt1 protein, rat
  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Lymphokines
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • Nos3 protein, mouse
  • Nos3 protein, rat
  • Akt1 protein, rat
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases