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Mechanisms underlying the ischemic retinal neovascularization: an in vivo and in vitro study


The proliferative retinopathy is a common cause of irreversible visual loss. It occurs in advanced diabetic retinopathy, central vein occlusion and also in oxygen induced retinopathy, as seen in retinopathy of prematurity. Up to now, the treatment for these diseases is invasive, involving laser photocoagulation, intravitreous injection of anti-VEGF agents or vitrectomy. To develop new therapies lesser invasive, a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms is needed. In this present project, an in vivo and in vitro study will be conducted. Oxygen induced retinopahy model (as previously described) will be applied in Wistar rats in order to induce an extensive retinal neovascularization and in three time points (before the development of new vessels, after appearance of retinal new vessels and later, when the vascular component is transformed into fibrotic tissue) two different therapies ("cell free" cellular therapy and AMPK activators) will be tested. In this present work, the novelty is to identify new mechanisms behind the neovascularization present in ischemic retinopathy and to test the efficacy of two different therapies, i.e., cell therapy and anti-proliferative/anti-fibrotic agent to treat these "irreversible" conditions. (AU)

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