Vasoproliferative retinopathies result from retinal capillary non-perfusion and consequent inner retinal hypoxia. However, it is not known whether oxygen mediates vasoproliferation directly (at the nuclear level) or indirectly by regulating the production of growth factors. We have investigated the effect of oxygen on the production of basic fibroblast growth factor and transforming-growth-factor-beta by a variety of retinal cell types in culture. Confluent cultures were maintained for 48 hr under varying oxygen tensions ranging from 135 to 18 mmHg. A reduction in basic fibroblast growth factor levels was observed in the cell lysates and extracellular matrix from retinal microvascular endothelial cell, retinal microvascular pericyte and retinal pigment epithelial cell cultures when the oxygen tension of the medium was reduced from 135 to 18 mmHg. Levels of basic fibroblast growth factor in conditioned media from microvascular endothelial and retinal pigment epithelial cell cultures also decreased when the oxygen tension of the medium was reduced from 135 to 18 mmHg. Total transforming-growth-factor-beta (and specifically isoforms 1 and 2) in the conditioned media from all three cell types was similarly modulated by oxygen i.e. it decreased as the oxygen tension of the medium was reduced from 135 to 18 mmHg. In contrast, the steady state messenger RNA levels for both basic fibroblast growth factor and transforming-growth-factor-beta 1 genes in RPE cells increased significantly when the oxygen tension of the medium was reduced from 135 to 18 mmHg. These results support the putative role of oxygen in influencing the balance of growth factors during the development of preretinal new vessels.
- basic fibroblast growth factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience