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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mouse strain-dependent heterogeneity of resting limbal vasculature.

PURPOSE: Heterogeneity of the extent of angiogenesis induced by exogenous growth factors may be determined by genetic influences. Because angiogenesis is the formation of new vessels from preexisting ones, strain-related influences on naïve resting limbal vessel phenotype and gene expression were determined in mice having divergently low and high angiogenic responses. METHODS: Resting limbal vessel surface area and density and extent of bFGF-induced corneal angiogenesis were determined in C57BL/6J, BALB/cJ, F1 intercross identical with C57BL/6J X 129S3/SvIM, and 129S3/SvIM mouse strains by quantitative three-dimensional reconstruction confocal microscopy. Strain-related influences on pro- and antiangiogenic gene expression in naïve cornea were determined by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. RESULTS: The strain-dependent rank order of resting limbal vessel surface area and resting vessel density paralleled bFGF-induced neovascularization: 129S3/SvIM > BALB/cJ, F1 > C57BL/6J (P < 0.0006). Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) was increased more than 67-fold compared to Ang-2 in resting cornea of both C57BL/6J and 129S3/SvIM strains (P < 0.0001; P < 0.0001), suggesting a strongly antiangiogenic environment. The corneas of the C57BL/6J mice demonstrated 1.8-, 1.5-, and 1.7-fold increased mRNA levels for Flt-1, VEGF, and bFGF, respectively (P < 0.02; P < 0.04; P < 0.02); however, TSP-1 expression was increased 2.4-fold compared with 129S3/SvIM (P < 0.0004). CONCLUSIONS: Strain-dependent differences in the resting limbal vessel surface area and density correlated with heterogeneity in the extent of bFGF-induced angiogenesis. Differences in pro- and antiangiogenic gene expression levels in resting cornea may influence vascular limbal phenotype during quiescence and may predict susceptibility to angiogenesis-dependent diseases.[1]


  1. Mouse strain-dependent heterogeneity of resting limbal vasculature. Chan, C.K., Pham, L.N., Chinn, C., Spee, C., Ryan, S.J., Akhurst, R.J., Hinton, D.R. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. (2004) [Pubmed]
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