Scientists find way to block retinopathy in mice

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by ironjustice, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. ironjustice

    ironjustice Guest

    Antibody May Salvage Sight
    Scientists find way to block retinopathy in mice

    WEDNESDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDayNews) -- Using an antibody to block the
    action of a protein called SDF-1 prevented blindness in mice with a
    condition similar to retinopathy in humans, says a University of
    Florida study in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical

    Retinopathy -- characterized by rampant blood vessel growth in the eyes
    -- is a complication of diabetes and the leading cause of blindness in
    working-age Americans. Diabetic retinopathy results in 12,000 to 24,000
    cases of blindness in the United States each year, says the American
    Diabetes Association.

    This study is the first to describe a link between SDF-1 and
    retinopathy. It also describes how the researchers injected an SDF-1
    antibody into the eyes of the afflicted mice to silence SDF-1's
    signaling to blood stem cells.

    "SDF-1 is the main thing that tells blood stem cells where to go,"
    researcher Edward Scott, director of the program in stem cell biology
    and regenerative medicine at the university's College of Medicine, said
    in a prepared statement.

    "If you get a cut, the body makes SDF-1 at the injury site and the
    repair cells sniff it out. The concentration of SDF-1 is higher where
    the cut occurs and it quickly dissipates. But the eye is such a unique
    place, you've got this bag of jelly -- the vitreous -- that just sits
    there, and it fills up with SDF-1. The SDF-1 doesn't break down. It
    continues to call the new blood vessels to come that way, causing all
    the problems," Scott explained.

    In people with diabetes, high blood pressure and blood sugar levels
    cause leaks in the blood vessels of the eyes. This hampers the flow of
    essential chemicals. In response, the eyes grow new blood vessels.
    These new blood vessels begin to clog the eyes and cause even more
    leaks. The retina is gradually damaged until it can no longer capture

    The next step in this research is to test the SDF-1 antibody in
    monkeys, the researchers said.

    More information

    The U.S. National Eye Institute has more about diabetic retinopathy.

    -- Robert Preidt

    SOURCE: University of Florida, news release, Jan. 7, 2005

    Last Updated: Jan-12-2005
    Copyright © 2005 ScoutNews LLC. All rights reserved.

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