Purpose: To determine whether vasohibin, an antiangiogenic factor produced by vascular endothelial cells, is expressed in the choroidal neovascular (CNV) membranes obtained from human eyes with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV).
Design: Retrospective, interventional case series.
Methods: The medical charts of 21 eyes of 21 patients with AMD or PCV who underwent surgical removal of the CNV membrane were reviewed. The removed tissues were immunostained for von Willebrand Factor (vWF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and vasohibin. The levels of the messenger ribonucleic acid of VEGF, VEGFR2, and vasohibin were determined by real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) from the CNV membranes excised from nine AMD and nine PCV patients.
Results: The patients were divided into three groups; four patients were placed in the most active group (Group H), 13 in the less active group (Group E), and four in the nonactive group (Group S). Immunohistochemistry showed that vasohibin, vWF, and VEGF were expressed in the vascular endothelial cells in the CNV membranes and in the polypoidal vessels. RT-PCR showed that there was a strong correlation between the level of expression of VEGFR2 and vasohibin (P = .0002). Eyes with a lower vasohibin-to-VEGF ratio tended to have larger subretinal hemorrhages or vitreous hemorrhages, whereas eyes with higher vasohibin-to-VEGF ratio had subretinal fibrosislike lesions. Statistical analysis of the vasohibin-to-VEGF ratio among the three groups was significant (P = .0209).
Conclusions: Vasohibin is expressed in human CNV membranes. Our results indicate that the vasohibin-to-VEGF ratio may be related with the activity of the CNV.