Article Text

other Versions

Expression of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1alpha and the Protein Products of its Target Genes in Diabetic Fibrovascular Epiretinal Membranes
  1. Ahmed M Abu El-Asrar (abuasrar{at},
  2. Luc Missotten (luc.missotten{at},
  3. Karel Geboes (karel.geboes{at}
  1. College of Mediicine,Kinng Saud Universsity, Saudi Arabia
  2. Dept. of Ophthalmology, University of Leuven, Belgium
  3. Lab. of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry, University of Leuven, Belgium


    Aims: To investigate the expression of the hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1α) and the protein products of its target genes vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), erythropoietin (Epo) and angiopoietins (Angs) and the antiangiogenic pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) in proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) epiretinal membranes.

    Methods: Sixteen membranes were studied by immunohistochemical techniques.

    Results: Vascular endothelial cells expressed HIF-1alpha, Ang-2 and VEGF in 15 (93.75%), 6 (37.5%) and 9 (56.25%) membranes, respectively. There was no immunoreactivity for Epo, Ang-1 and PEDF. There were significant correlations between the number of blood vessels expressing the panendothelial marker CD34 and the numbers of blood vessels expressing HIF-1α (r=0.5542; p=0.0259), Ang-2 (r = 0.8296; p = 0.0001) and VEGF (r = 0.7425; p = 0.001). The numbers of blood vessels expressing Ang-2 and VEGF in active membranes were higher than that in inactive membranes (p=0.0149; 0.0275, respectively).

    Conclusions: HIF-1α, Ang-2 and VEGF may play an important role in the pathogenesis of PDR. Our findings suggest an adverse angiogenic milieu in PDR epiretinal membranes favouring aberrant neovascularization and endothelial abnormalities.

    • angiopoietins
    • diabetic retinopathy
    • erythropoietin
    • hypoxia-inducible Factor-1α
    • vascular endothelial growth factor

    Statistics from

    Request permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.