Mediators involved in retinopathy of prematurity and emerging therapeutic targets

Early Hum Dev. 2011 Oct;87(10):683-90. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2011.05.009. Epub 2011 Jun 22.


Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a potentially blinding disease of premature infants and despite timely treatment some infants develop retinal detachment and sight loss. Current treatment utilises laser therapy which causes destruction of treated retinal tissue resulting in field loss. There is considerable research work ongoing on neovascular eye disease which is likely to result in antiangiogenic approaches that will arrest the development of ROP by specifically targeting the involved molecular mediators. Some of these new therapeutic interventions have entered clinical trials. This article reviews new information available on the molecular pathogenesis of ROP which may result in novel treatments for ROP; it does not discuss the well-known role of oxygen in the development of ROP.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Erythropoietin / metabolism
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / etiology*
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / metabolism
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / therapy
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism*


  • EPO protein, human
  • Protein Isoforms
  • VEGFA protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Erythropoietin
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I