Nonvascular VEGF receptor 3 expression by corneal epithelium maintains avascularity and vision.

Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, 20 Staniford Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 08/2006; 103(30):11405-10. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0506112103
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Transparency of the cornea, the window of the eye, is a prerequisite for vision. Angiogenesis into the normally avascular cornea is incompatible with good vision and, therefore, the cornea is one of the few tissues in the human body where avascularity is actively maintained. Here, we provide evidence for a critical mechanism contributing to corneal avascularity. VEGF receptor 3, normally present on lymphatic and proliferating blood vascular endothelium, is strongly constitutively expressed by corneal epithelium and is mechanistically responsible for suppressing inflammatory corneal angiogenesis.

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