Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in the Aqueous Humor of Dogs With and Without Intraocular Disease
Sandberg, Christina Ann
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Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF) is a potent mediator of blood vessel formation throughout the body. Intraocular diseases characterized by inflammation, hypoxia or neoplasia induce new blood vessel formation within the eye. The end result of such blood vessel formation may be blinding sequellae such as glaucoma from outflow obstruction or hyphema from intraocular hemorrhage. Elevated VEGF concentrations in the aqueous humor and vitreous are documented in a number of human intraocular disease processes, including tumors, retinal detachment and uveitic glaucoma. Pharmacotherapy inhibiting VEGF expression demonstrates promise for control of some of these ophthalmic conditions. We quantified and compared VEGF concentrations in canine aqueous humor samples from 13 dogs with normal eyes and 226 eyes from 178 dogs with a variety of ophthalmic diseases by ELISA. Dogs with primary cataract, diabetic cataract, primary glaucoma, uveitic glaucoma, aphakic/pseudophakic glaucoma, retinal detachment, lens luxation and neoplasia were evaluated. Elevated VEGF concentrations were found in all disease conditions tested as compared to normal dogs excepting cataracts and diabetic cataracts. Elevated aqueous humor VEGF concentrations were found in dogs with pre-iridal fibrovascular membranes (PIFM) as compared to dogs without PIFM. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that VEGF has a role in the causation or progression of a variety of canine ocular disorders.
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