PURPOSE: To study the spatial variances in ligand expression and angiogenic effect in response to the inflammatory response induced by basic fibroblast growth factor (b-FGF). METHODS: b-FGF micropellets (80 ng) were implanted in the temporal side of the cornea of Balb/c mice. On days 1, 3, and 7, blood (heme-) and lymphangiogenesis were observed by immunofluorescence staining of corneal flat mounts with LYVE-1 and CD31 to identify lymphatic and blood vessels, respectively. A second group of corneas were harvested for quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Each cornea was divided into 2 different areas: (1) pre-pellet area and (2) opposite-pellet area. Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) ligands was evaluated using real-time polymerase chain reaction in each respective zone. RESULTS: Blood vessels grew into the cornea from the pre-pellet area, whereas corneal lymphatic vessels grew from the opposite-pellet area toward the center of the cornea. VEGF-A was upregulated in the pre-pellet, whereas VEGF-D expression was mostly observed in the opposite-pellet area. VEGF-C level increased simultaneously in both areas. CONCLUSIONS: A single inducing factor, that is, b-FGF, may simultaneously provoke hemangiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis in different locations of the cornea through differential expression of VEGF ligands. This distinctive spatial pattern should be considered while evaluating the corneal predilection for inflammation beyond that which is directly visible by slit lamp examination.
- corneal angiogenesis
- fibroblast growth factor
- vascular endothelial growth factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas