Herbimycin A inhibits angiogenic activity in endothelial cells and reduces neovascularization in a rat model of retinopathy of prematurity.

McCollum GW, Rajaratnam VS, Bullard LE, Yang R, Penn JS
Exp Eye Res. 2004 78 (5): 987-95

PMID: 15051479 · DOI:10.1016/j.exer.2003.12.008

The pathogenesis of retinopathy of prematurity involves dysregulated angiogenesis resulting in pre-retinal growth of new vessels. Inhibition of tyrosine kinase-dependent pro-angiogenic signals may provide a rational therapeutic approach to the reduction of pre-retinal neovascularization. Vascular endothelial growth factor stimulates endothelial cell mitogenesis, differentiation and migration, by binding and activating the receptor tyrosine kinases vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2. One of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor substrates implicated in vascular endothelial growth factor signal transduction is c-Src. The ability of herbimycin A, a c-Src-selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor, to inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor-induced bovine retinal microvascular endothelial cell proliferation and tube formation was investigated. The ability of the compound to inhibit pathologic angiogenesis was tested in a rat model of retinopathy of prematurity. Exposure of neonatal rats to oxygen concentrations cycling between 10 and 50% induced severe pre-retinal neovascularization in all rats. Some of the eyes of these variable oxygen-exposed rats were herbimycin A-injected or vehicle-injected 1 or 3 days post-oxygen exposure while some eyes were non-injected. All rats were sacrificed for assessment 6 days post-exposure. Herbimycin A inhibited both vascular endothelial growth factor-induced bovine retinal microvascular endothelial cell proliferation and capillary tube formation in a dose-dependent manner. Injection of herbimycin A into oxygen-treated rats 1 day post-oxygen exposure produced a 63% decrease in pre-retinal neovascularization relative to vehicle (P = 0.0029). There was a 41% decrease in pre-retinal neovascularization in herbimycin-injected eyes relative to vehicle-injected eyes 3 days post-oxygen (P = 0.031). Pre-retinal neovascularization was reduced in vehicle-injected eyes relative to non-injected eyes at both injection times. There were no significant differences in retinal vascular area between any of the experimental groups. Based on the results of this study, herbimycin A inhibits endothelial cell proliferation and tube formation at non-toxic concentrations and reduces pre-retinal neovascularization in a rat model of retinopathy of prematurity. Reduction of angiogenesis by the inhibition of tyrosine kinase activity may be a viable route to the development of effective chemotherapies applicable to eye disease.

MeSH Terms (19)

Animals Benzoquinones Cell Division Cells, Cultured Disease Models, Animal Endothelial Cells Enzyme Inhibitors Humans Infant, Newborn Lactams, Macrocyclic Protein-Tyrosine Kinases Quinones Rats Rats, Sprague-Dawley Retinal Neovascularization Retinal Vessels Retinopathy of Prematurity Rifabutin Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A

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