Vitreous as an Inhibitor of Angiogenesis
Numerous studies have shown that the normal vitreous is an inhibitor of angiogenesis. This inhibitory activity is decreased in proliferative diabetic retinopathy. However, the molecular basis of the phenomenon remains poorly understood. Known inhibitors of angiogenesis, such as thrombospondin 1 and pigment epithelium–derived factor, are present within the mammalian vitreous and may inhibit angiogenesis in healthy eyes. The vitreous protein opticin also suppresses angiogenesis in mouse models of retinal neovascularization. In contrast, the level of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a promoter of angiogenesis, is markedly elevated in the vitreous of patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy, a condition in which the vitreous also acts as a scaffold for retinal neovascularization.
Le Goff MM, Lu H, Ugarte M, et al. The vitreous glycoprotein opticin inhibits preretinal neovascularization. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012;53(1):228–234.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 2 - Fundamentals and Principles of Ophthalmology. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.