Aim: To generate a mouse model for slow progressive retinal neovascularisation through vascular endothelial growth factor ( VEGF) upregulation.Methods: Transgenic mice were generated via microinjection of a DNA construct containing the human VEGF(165) (hVEGF) gene driven by a truncated mouse rhodopsin promoter. Mouse eyes were characterised clinically and histologically and ocular hVEGF levels assayed by ELISA.Results: One transgenic line expressing low hVEGF levels showed mild clinical changes such as focal fluorescein leakage, microaneurysms, venous tortuosity, capillary non-perfusion and minor neovascularisation, which remained stable up to 3 months postnatal. Histologically, there were some disturbance and thinning of inner and outer nuclear layers, with occasional focal areas of neovascularisation. By contrast, three other lines expressing high hVEGF levels presented with concomitantly severe phenotypes. In addition to the above, clinical features included extensive neovascularisation, haemorrhage, and retinal detachment; histologically, focal to extensive areas of neovascularisation associated with retinal folds, cell loss in the inner and outer nuclear layers, and partial retinal detachment were common.Conclusions: The authors generated four hVEGF overexpressing transgenic mouse lines with phenotypes ranging from mild to severe neovascularisation. These models are a valuable research tool to study excess VEGF related molecular and cellular changes and provide additional opportunities to test anti-angiogenic therapies.
Lai, C-M., Dunlop, S., May, L. A., Gorbatov, M., Brankov, M., Shen, W. Y., Binz, N., Lai, Y. K., Graham, C. E., Barry, C. J., Constable, I., Beazley, L., & Rakoczy, E. (2005). Generation of transgenic mice with mild and severe retinal neovascularisation. The British journal of ophthalmology, 89(7), 911-916. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjo.2004.059089