There have been numerous types of animal models of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) and retinal neovascularization (RNV). Understanding the pathobiology of CNV and RNV is important when evaluating and utilizing these models. Both CNV and RNV are dynamic processes. A break or defect in Bruchs' membrane is necessary for CNV to develop. This may be induced with a laser, mechanically via surgery, or in the setting of transgenic mice. Some of the transgenic mouse models spontaneously develop RNV and/or retinal angiomatous proliferation (RAP)-like lesions. The pathogenesis of RNV is well-known and is generally related to ischemic retinopathy. Models of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) closely resemble retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). The streptozotocin (STZ) rat model develops features similar to diabetic retinopathy. This review summarizes general categories and specific examples of animal models of CNV and RNV. There are no perfect models of CNV or RNV and individual investigators are encouraged to choose the model that best suits their needs.
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