Zarranz-Ventura J, Fernández-Robredo P, Recalde S, Salinas-Alamán A, Borrás-Cuesta F, Dotor J, et al. Transforming growth factor-beta inhibition reduces progression of early choroidal neovascularization lesions in rats: P17 and P144 peptides. PLoS One. 2013 May 31;8(5):e65434
The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) inhibitor peptides (P17 & P144) on early laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (LI-CNV) lesions in rats, two weeks after laser CNV induction. Seventy-one Long Evans rats underwent diode laser application in an established LI-CNV model. Baseline fluorescein angiography (FA) was performed 14 days following laser procedure, and treatments were administered 16 days post-laser application via different administration routes. Intravenous groups included control (IV-Control), P17 (IV-17), and P144 (IV-144) groups, whereas intravitreal groups included P17 (IVT-17), P144 (IVT-144), and a mixture of both peptides (IVT-17+144) (with fellow eyes receiving vehicle alone). CNV evolution was assessed using FA performed weekly for four weeks after treatment. Following sacrifice, VEGF, TGF-β, COX-2, IGF-1, PAI-1, IL-6, MMP-2, MMP-9, and TNF-α gene expression was assessed using RT-PCR. VEGF and p-SMAD2 protein levels were also assessed by western-blot, while MMP-2 activity was assessed with gelatin zymography. Regarding the FA analysis, the mean CNV area was lower from the 3(rd) week in IVT-17 and IVT-144 groups, and also from the 2(nd) week in IVT-17+144. Biochemical analysis revealed that gene expression was lower for VEGF and COX-2 genes in IV-17 and IV-144 groups, VEGF gene in IVT-17+144 group and MMP-2 gene in IVT-17 and IVT-144 groups. VEGF protein expression was also decreased in IV-17, IV-144, IVT-17 and IVT-144, whereas pSMAD-2 levels were lower in IV-17, IV-144 and IVT-17+144 groups. Zymogram analysis revealed decreased MMP-2 activity in IV-17, IV-144, IVT-17 and IVT-144 groups. These data suggest that the use of TGF-β inhibitor peptides (P17 & P144) decrease the development of early CNV lesions by targeting different mediators than those typically affected using current anti-angiogenic therapies. Its potential role in the treatment of early CNV appears promising as a single therapy or adjuvant to anti-VEGF drugs.