Purpose: Anti-VEGF resistance represents a major unmet clinical need in the management of choroidal neovascularization (CNV). We have previously reported that a combination of AIBP, apoA-I, and an anti-VEGF antibody overcomes anti-VEGF resistance in laser-induced CNV in old mice in prevention experiments. The purpose of this work is to conduct a more clinically relevant study to assess the efficacy of the combination of AIBP, apoA-I, and aflibercept in the treatment of anti-VEGF resistance of experimental CNV at different time points after laser photocoagulation.
Methods: To understand the pathobiology of anti-VEGF resistance, we performed comprehensive examinations of the vascular morphology of laser-induced CNV in young mice that are highly responsive to anti-VEGF treatment, and in old mice that are resistant to anti-VEGF therapy by indocyanine green angiography (ICGA), fluorescein angiography (FA), optical coherence tomography (OCT), and Alexa 568 isolectin labeled choroid flatmounts. We examined the efficacy of the combination therapy of AIBP, apoA-I, and aflibercept intravitreally delivered at 2, 4, and 7 days after laser photocoagulation in the treatment of CNV in old mice.
Results: Laser-induced CNV in young and old mice exhibited cardinal features of capillary and arteriolar CNV, respectively. The combination therapy and the aflibercept monotherapy were equally effective in treating capillary CNV in young mice. In old mice, the combination therapy was effective in treating anti-VEGF resistance by potently inhibiting arteriolar CNV, whereas aflibercept monotherapy was ineffective.
Conclusions: Combination therapy of AIBP, apoA-I, and aflibercept overcomes anti-VEGF resistance in experimental CNV in old mice by inhibiting arteriolar CNV.