Essential role of growth hormone in ischemia-induced retinal neovascularization

Science. 1997 Jun 13;276(5319):1706-9. doi: 10.1126/science.276.5319.1706.


Retinal neovascularization is the major cause of untreatable blindness. The role of growth hormone (GH) in ischemia-associated retinal neovascularization was studied in transgenic mice expressing a GH antagonist gene and in normal mice given an inhibitor of GH secretion (MK678). Retinal neovascularization was inhibited in these mice in inverse proportion to serum levels of GH and a downstream effector, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I). Inhibition was reversed with exogenous IGF-I administration. GH inhibition did not diminish hypoxia-stimulated retinal vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) or VEGF receptor expression. These data suggest that systemic inhibition of GH or IGF-I, or both, may have therapeutic potential in preventing some forms of retinopathy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / genetics
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Growth Hormone / agonists
  • Growth Hormone / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Growth Hormone / blood
  • Growth Hormone / pharmacology
  • Growth Hormone / physiology*
  • Hormone Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / pharmacology
  • Ischemia
  • Lymphokines / genetics
  • Lymphokines / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Peptides, Cyclic / pharmacology
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Retinal Neovascularization / etiology*
  • Retinal Neovascularization / metabolism
  • Retinal Neovascularization / pathology
  • Retinal Vessels
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Hormone Antagonists
  • Lymphokines
  • Peptides, Cyclic
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • seglitide
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Growth Hormone