Inhibition of VEGF secretion and experimental choroidal neovascularization by picropodophyllin (PPP), an inhibitor of the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor.
Acta Ophthalmol. 2008 Nov ;86 Thesis 4:42-9. PMID: 19032681
Cellular and Molecular Tumor Pathology, Department of Oncology and Pathology, Cancer Centre Karolinska, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction: Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) is a debilitating complication of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and a leading cause of vision loss. Along with other angiogenic factors like vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and its receptor, IGF-1R, have been implicated in CNV. Purpose: We have previously shown that the cyclolignan picropodophyllin (PPP) efficiently blocks the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) activity and causes cell death in uveal melanoma cell lines and in an in-vivo model. In this study we investigated the effect of PPP on VEGF expression both in vitro and in vivo and whether this effect has anti-angiogenic consequences in a murine CNV model. Materials and Methods: C57BL/6J mice with laser-induced CNVs were treated with PPP. Effects on CNV area were assayed by image analysis. VEGF levels in choroids and retinal pigment epithelial cells (APRE-19) were measured by Western blot or ELISA. Transcriptional activation of the VEGF promoter was determined by luciferase reporter gene assay. Results: Mice treated with PPP, administered intraperitoneally or orally, showed 22-32% (p = 0.002) decrease in CNV area. Furthermore, VEGF levels in the choroids were significantly reduced. In cultured APRE-19 cells, IGF-1 was shown to increase VEGF secretion. This increase was completely blocked by PPP. We could confirm that PPP reduced the level of transcriptional activity of VEGF promoter. Conclusions: PPP reduces IGF-1 dependent VEGF expression and CNV in vivo. Accordingly, IGF-1R inhibitors may be useful tools in the therapy of conditions associated with CNV including neovascular AMD.