Animal models of ocular angiogenesis: from development to pathologies

FASEB J. 2017 Nov;31(11):4665-4681. doi: 10.1096/fj.201700336R. Epub 2017 Jul 24.


Pathological angiogenesis in the eye is an important feature in the pathophysiology of many vision-threatening diseases, including retinopathy of prematurity, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration, as well as corneal diseases with abnormal angiogenesis. Development of reproducible and reliable animal models of ocular angiogenesis has advanced our understanding of both the normal development and the pathobiology of ocular neovascularization. These models have also proven to be valuable experimental tools with which to easily evaluate potential antiangiogenic therapies beyond eye research. This review summarizes the current available animal models of ocular angiogenesis. Models of retinal and choroidal angiogenesis, including oxygen-induced retinopathy, laser-induced choroidal neovascularization, and transgenic mouse models with deficient or spontaneous retinal/choroidal neovascularization, as well as models with induced corneal angiogenesis, are widely used to investigate the molecular and cellular basis of angiogenic mechanisms. Theoretical concepts and experimental protocols of these models are outlined, as well as their advantages and potential limitations, which may help researchers choose the most suitable models for their investigative work.-Liu, C.-H., Wang, Z., Sun, Y., Chen, J. Animal models of ocular angiogenesis: from development to pathologies.

Keywords: choroidal neovascularization; corneal angiogenesis; macular degeneration; retinal vasculature; retinopathy.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Choroidal Neovascularization* / genetics
  • Choroidal Neovascularization* / metabolism
  • Choroidal Neovascularization* / pathology
  • Choroidal Neovascularization* / physiopathology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy* / genetics
  • Diabetic Retinopathy* / metabolism
  • Diabetic Retinopathy* / pathology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy* / physiopathology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Retinal Neovascularization* / genetics
  • Retinal Neovascularization* / metabolism
  • Retinal Neovascularization* / pathology
  • Retinal Neovascularization* / physiopathology