Retinal neovascular pathologies, such as diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and agerelated macular degeneration, may be treated with intravitreal injections of drugs targeting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), the main inducer of neoangiogenesis; however further improvements and alternative strategies are needed. In the last few years, an intense research activity has focused on the b-adrenergic system. The results indicate that, in different experimental models, a decrease of the badrenergic function may result either in reduction or in exacerbation of the vascular changes, thus suggesting possible dual effects of b-adrenoreceptor (b-AR) modulation depending on the experimental setting. In in vivo models of proliferative retinopathies, most of the data point to a strong inhibitory role against vascular changes exerted by the blockade of specific b-ARs. In particular, the b2-AR seems to be the mostly involved in these responses, and the b1-/b2-AR blocker propranolol results highly effective in inhibiting both the increase of VEGF expression caused by a hypoxic insult and the consequent neovascular response. These observations have prompted clinical trials in preterm infants with ROP, where oral administrations of propranolol produced positive results in terms of efficacy, although safety problems were also reported. In addition, the possibility of using topical propranolol administrations in the form of eye drops opens new potential routes of drug administration in humans. A further point that should be considered is that there are data demonstrating significant antiapoptotic effects exerted by b- ARs, therefore if b-AR blockers were used to inhibit aberrant neovascularization, there may be a burden to pay in terms of impaired neuronal viability.

The β-adrenergic system as a possible new target for pharmacologic treatment of neovascular retinal diseases

CASINI, GIOVANNI;DAL MONTE, MASSIMO;FORNACIARI, IRENE;Luca Filippi;BAGNOLI, PAOLA
2014-01-01

Abstract

Retinal neovascular pathologies, such as diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and agerelated macular degeneration, may be treated with intravitreal injections of drugs targeting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), the main inducer of neoangiogenesis; however further improvements and alternative strategies are needed. In the last few years, an intense research activity has focused on the b-adrenergic system. The results indicate that, in different experimental models, a decrease of the badrenergic function may result either in reduction or in exacerbation of the vascular changes, thus suggesting possible dual effects of b-adrenoreceptor (b-AR) modulation depending on the experimental setting. In in vivo models of proliferative retinopathies, most of the data point to a strong inhibitory role against vascular changes exerted by the blockade of specific b-ARs. In particular, the b2-AR seems to be the mostly involved in these responses, and the b1-/b2-AR blocker propranolol results highly effective in inhibiting both the increase of VEGF expression caused by a hypoxic insult and the consequent neovascular response. These observations have prompted clinical trials in preterm infants with ROP, where oral administrations of propranolol produced positive results in terms of efficacy, although safety problems were also reported. In addition, the possibility of using topical propranolol administrations in the form of eye drops opens new potential routes of drug administration in humans. A further point that should be considered is that there are data demonstrating significant antiapoptotic effects exerted by b- ARs, therefore if b-AR blockers were used to inhibit aberrant neovascularization, there may be a burden to pay in terms of impaired neuronal viability.
2014
Casini, Giovanni; DAL MONTE, Massimo; Fornaciari, Irene; Filippi, Luca; Bagnoli, Paola
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/462871
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