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Yan Shao, Jianglei Chen, Xiao-Rong Li, Jian-Xing Ma; Detection and Quantification of Retinal Neovascularization Using BrdU Incorporation. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(9):4. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.9.4.
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The retina is a commonly used model for angiogenesis research due to its special characteristics. Oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) provides a useful model to study ischemia-induced neovascularization (NV) and to develop anti-angiogenic therapeutics. The purpose of this study was to develop a simple, accurate, and less-subjective quantification method for retinal NV in the OIR model.
To address this challenge, we combined the conventional vascular staining and BrdU labeling of newly formed vascular cells to detect and analyze retinal NV. With daily injections of BrdU, which was incorporated into the DNA of newly formed retinal vessels under the OIR condition, ischemia-induced retinal neovasculature with BrdU labeling was distinguished from pre-existing vasculature and accurately quantified using the ImageJ program.
Compared with conventional quantification methods using isolectin B4 staining of the entire vascular network, BrdU labeling allowed us to distinguish newly formed vessels from the pre-existing vessels and to objectively quantify the newly formed vessels, which was verified in OIR mice with intravitreal injections of an antibody-neutralizing vascular endothelial growth factor.
BrdU labeling provides a useful and sensitive method for studying retinal NV and evaluating the therapeutic effects of medical interventions against pathological angiogenesis.
Quantitative, straightforward, and objective observation and evaluation of pathologic neovasculature are important to study the pathogenesis of NV and therapeutic effects using animal models.
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