Notable Paper: Ras Pathway Inhibition Prevents Neovascularization By Repressing Endothelial Cell Sprouting

JCI cover

A new manuscript in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (on the cover) by Peter D. Westenskow, Toshihide Kurihara, Edith Aguilar, Elizabeth L. Scheppke, Stacey K. Moreno, Carli Wittgrove, Valentina Marchetti, Iacovos P. Michael, Sudarshan Anand, Andras Nagy, David Cheresh and Martin Friedlander at The Scripps Research Institute describes a new technique for treating aberrant growth of blood vessels in the retina from disease processes like “wet” macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, two leading causes of blindness.  The approach involves manipulating disease processes with short RNA strands that precisely target microRNAs (anti-microRNAs if you will) to stop the aberrant blood vessel grown without harming the existing retinal vasculature.  The results of this study showed that treatment with microRNAs “blocked aberrant vessel growth without damaging existing vasculature or neurons in three separate models of neovascular eye disease—a proof-of-principle that suggests future treatment based on the same approach may be effective in humans.”

Exciting news indeed.

 

 

 

Astrocyte pVHL and HIF-α Isoforms Are Required for Embryonic-To-Adult Vascular Transition In The Eye

This paper from Toshihide Kurihara, Peter Westenskow, Tim Krohne, Edith Aguilar, Randy A. Johnson, and Marty Friedlander propose a model for the transition from embryonic to adult circulation in the eye  using a combinatorial gene deletion approach with over expression assays, examining astrocyte-targeted deletion of von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor (Vhl), hypoxia-inducible factor-αs (Hif-αs), and VEGF on normal regression of hyaloid vessels which are transient fetal vessels in the eye that can be seen in the second and early third trimester of human pregnancy.  Continue reading “Astrocyte pVHL and HIF-α Isoforms Are Required for Embryonic-To-Adult Vascular Transition In The Eye”