Therapeutic interference with EphrinB2 signalling inhibits oxygen-induced angioproliferative retinopathy

University Eye Hospital, Freiburg, Germany.
Acta ophthalmologica (Impact Factor: 2.84). 09/2009; 89(1):82-90. DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-3768.2009.01609.x
Source: PubMed


To investigate whether EphrinB2 (EfnB2) or EphB4 influence retinal angiogenesis under physiological or pathological conditions.
Using the mouse model of oxygen-induced proliferative retinopathy (OIR), the expression of EfnB2, EphB4, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 was quantified by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and localized in EfnB2- and EphB4-lacZ mice. Angioproliferative retinopathy was manipulated by intravitreal injection of dimeric EfnB2 and monomeric or dimeric EphB4.
Dimeric EphB4 (EphB4-Fc) and EfnB2 (EfnB2-Fc) enhanced hypoxia-induced angioproliferative retinopathy but not physiological angiogenesis. Monomeric EphB4 (sEphB4) reduced angiogenesis. The messenger RNA (mRNA) level of EfnB2 increased significantly in the hyperoxic phase (P7-P12), while EphB4, VEGF, VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 showed a significant - up to fivefold - increased expression at P14, the start of morphologically visible vasoproliferation caused by relative hypoxia.
The ephrin/Eph system is involved in angioproliferative retinopathy. Stimulation of EphB4 and EfnB2 signalling using EfnB2-Fc and EphB4-Fc, respectively, enhanced hypoxia-induced angiogenesis. In contrast, sEphB4 inhibited hypoxia-induced angiogenesis. Therefore, angiogenesis is enhanced by signalling through both EphB4 (forward) and EfnB2 (reverse). The distinction in the expression kinetics of EphB4 and EfnB2 indicates that they govern two different signalling pathways and are regulated in diverse ways. sEphB4 might be a useful drug for antiangiogenic therapy.

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Available from: Hellmut Augustin, Jan 10, 2015
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    • "Among the pro-angiogenic genes, only angiopoietin-1 (angpt1) and ephrin-B2 (efnb2) genes were significantly over-expressed in both mice models (Figure 2C). Angpt1 protein is a critical actor involved in vessel maturation since it mediates migration, adhesion and survival of endothelial cells, whereas Efnb2 protein is involved in angio-proliferative retinopathy [28], [29]. We also observed a significant over-expression of the angiopoietin-2 (angpt2) gene in plasmalogen-deficient mice. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Proper development of retinal blood vessels is essential to ensure sufficient oxygen and nutrient supplies to the retina. It was shown that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) could modulate factors involved in tissue vascularization. A congenital deficiency in ether-phospholipids, also termed “plasmalogens”, was shown to lead to abnormal ocular vascularization. Because plasmalogens are considered to be reservoirs of PUFAs, we wished to improve our understanding of the mechanisms by which plasmalogens regulate retinal vascular development and whether the release of PUFAs by calcium-independent phospholipase A2 (iPLA2) could be involved. Methods and Results By characterizing the cellular and molecular steps of retinal vascular development in a mouse model of plasmalogen deficiency, we demonstrated that plasmalogens modulate angiogenic processes during the early phases of retinal vascularization. They influence glial activity and primary astrocyte template formation, endothelial cell proliferation and retinal vessel outgrowth, and impact the expression of the genes involved in angiogenesis in the retina. These early defects led to a disorganized and dysfunctional retinal vascular network at adult age. By comparing these data to those obtained on a mouse model of retinal iPLA2 inhibition, we suggest that these processes may be mediated by PUFAs released from plasmalogens and further signalling through the angiopoietin/tie pathways. Conclusions These data suggest that plasmalogens play a crucial role in retinal vascularization processes.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Inhibiting EphB4-ephrin-B2 interaction could therefore be useful for diverse medical applications. For example, administration of soluble monomeric EphB4 extracellular domain, which interferes with the binding of ephrin-B2 to EphB receptors and inhibits bidirectional signaling, was shown to inhibit tumor growth and tumor angiogenesis in several mouse tumor xenograft models as well as neovascularization in a model of retinopathy [28], [29], [30], [31], [32]. A 15 amino acid-long EphB4 antagonistic peptide, TNYL-RAW (TNYLFSPNGPIARAW), could represent an alternative to the large EphB4 extracellular domain. "
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    ABSTRACT: The EphB4 receptor tyrosine kinase together with its preferred ligand, ephrin-B2, regulates a variety of physiological and pathological processes, including tumor progression, pathological forms of angiogenesis, cardiomyocyte differentiation and bone remodeling. We previously reported the identification of TNYL-RAW, a 15 amino acid-long peptide that binds to the ephrin-binding pocked of EphB4 with low nanomolar affinity and inhibits ephrin-B2 binding. Although ephrin-B2 interacts promiscuously with all the EphB receptors, the TNYL-RAW peptide is remarkably selective and only binds to EphB4. Therefore, this peptide is a useful tool for studying the biological functions of EphB4 and for imaging EphB4-expressing tumors. Furthermore, TNYL-RAW could be useful for treating pathologies involving EphB4-ephrin-B2 interaction. However, the peptide has a very short half-life in cell culture and in the mouse blood circulation due to proteolytic degradation and clearance by the kidneys and reticuloendothelial system. To overcome these limitations, we have modified TNYL-RAW by fusion with the Fc portion of human IgG1, complexation with streptavidin or covalent coupling to a 40 KDa branched polyethylene glycol (PEG) polymer. These modified forms of TNYL-RAW all have greatly increased stability in cell culture, while retaining high binding affinity for EphB4. Furthermore, PEGylation most effectively increases peptide half-life in vivo. Consistent with increased stability, submicromolar concentrations of PEGylated TNYL-RAW effectively impair EphB4 activation by ephrin-B2 in cultured B16 melanoma cells as well as capillary-like tube formation and capillary sprouting in co-cultures of endothelial and epicardial mesothelial cells. Therefore, PEGylated TNYL-RAW may be useful for inhibiting pathological forms of angiogenesis through a novel mechanism involving disruption of EphB4-ephrin-B2 interactions between endothelial cells and supporting perivascular mesenchymal cells. Furthermore, the PEGylated peptide is suitable for other cell culture and in vivo applications requiring prolonged EphB4 receptor targeting.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Hypoxic astroglial and neuronal cells in this region upregulate hypoxia-regulated growth factors to induce neovessel formation. However, unregulated neovessel growth leads not only to funtional revascularization but also induces pathological neovascularization (NV) in the inner retina [3]. Starting at P17, NV tufts and clusters begin to regress leading to a morphologically normal retinal vascular system around P25 [4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Retinal neovascularization has been intensively investigated in the mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR). Here, we studied the contribution of microglial cells to vascular regression during the hyperoxic phase and to retinal neovascularization during the hypoxic phase. Mice expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the Cx3cr1 promoter labeling microglial cells were kept in 75% oxygen from postnatal day 7 (P7) to P12. Microglial cell density was quantified at different time points and at different retinal positions in retinal flat mounts. Microglial activation was determined by the switch from ramified to amoeboid cell morphology which correlated with the switch from lectin negative to lectin positive staining of GFP positive cells. Microglial cell density was constant in the peripheral region of the retina. In the deep vascular layer of the central region, however, it declined 14 fold from P12 to P14 and recovered afterwards. Activated microglial cells were found in the superficial layer of the central avascular zone from P8 to P12 and from P16 to P18. In addition, hyalocytes were found in the vitreal layer in the central region and their cell density decreased over time. Density of microglial cells does not correlate with vascular obliteration or revascularization. But the time course of the activation of microglia indicates that they may be involved in retinal neovascularization during the hypoxic phase.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Journal of Neuroinflammation
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