Angiogenesis is a cause of visual impairment and blindness in the wet form of age-related macular degeneration and in ischemic retinopathies. Current therapies include use of anti-VEGF agents to reduce choroidal neovascularization (CNV) and edema. These treatments are effective in most cases, but spontaneous or acquired resistance to anti-VEGF and possible adverse effects of long-term VEGF inhibition in the retina and choroid highlight a need for additional alternative therapies. Integrins αvβ3 and αvβ5, which regulate endothelial cell proliferation and stabilization, have been implicated in ocular angiogenesis. Lebecetin (LCT) is a 30-kDa heterodimeric C-type lectin that is isolated from Macrovipera lebetina venom and interacts with α5β1- and αv-containing integrins. We previously showed that LCT inhibits human brain microvascular endothelial cell adhesion, migration, proliferation, and tubulogenesis. To evaluate the inhibitory effect of LCT on ocular angiogenesis, we cultured aortic and choroidal explants in the presence of LCT and analyzed the effect of LCT on CNV in the mouse CNV model and on retinal neovascularization in the oxygen-induced retinopathy model. Our data demonstrate that a single injection of LCT efficiently reduced CNV and retinal neovascularization in these models.-Montassar, F., Darche, M., Blaizot, A., Augustin, S., Conart, J.-B., Millet, A., Elayeb, M., Sahel, J.-A., Réaux-Le Goazigo, A., Sennlaub, F., Marrakchi, N., Messadi, E., Guillonneau, X. Lebecetin, a C-type lectin, inhibits choroidal and retinal neovascularization.
Keywords: angiogenesis; integrins; macular degeneration; retinopathy; snake venom.