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Novel approach to treat proliferative vitreoretinopathy shows promise
Date:10/30/2011

Philadelphia, PA -- Proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), or the formation of scar tissue within the eye, is a serious, sight-threatening complication in patients recovering surgical repair of retinal detachment. A new study conducted by investigators at the Schepens Eye Research Institute, the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, published in the December issue of the American Journal of Pathology, suggests that a cocktail containing reagents to neutralize a relatively small subset of vitreal growth factors and cytokines may be an effective treatment.

"We found that a combination of 7 classes of growth factors and cytokines was essential for PVR to develop in an animal model of the disease," explains lead investigator Andrius Kazlauskas, PhD, of The Schepens Eye Research Institute and the Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School. "By neutralizing them, we prevented PVR-relevant signaling, and inhibited contraction of collagen gels containing primary retinal pigment epithelial cells derived from a human PVR membrane (RPEMs). These findings suggest a potential therapeutic approach to reduce the incidence of PVR in patients undergoing surgery to repair a detached retina."

In animal models, platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRα) is associated with PVR and strongly promotes experimental PVR. Vitreal growth factors outside of the PDGF family promote an indirect route to activate PDGFRα. Importantly, indirectly activated PDGFRα engages a characteristic set of signaling events and cellular responses that are tightly associated with PVR. This study sought to identify the factors that would induce those events, and develop therapeutic approaches to prevent patients from developing PVR.

Vitreous was obtained from normal rabbits or those in which PVR was either developing or stabilized. Normal vitreous was found to
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Contact: David Sampson
ajpmedia@elsevier.com
215-239-3171
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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