Ranibizumab interacts with the VEGF-A/VEGFR-2 signaling pathway in human RPE cells at different levels


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secreted by the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) plays an important role in ocular homeostasis, but also in diseases, most notably age-related macular degeneration (AMD). To date, anti-VEGF drugs like ranibizumab have been shown to be most effective in treating these pathologic conditions. However, clinical trials suggest that the RPE could degenerate and perish through anti-VEGF treatment. Herein, we evaluated possible pathways and outcomes of the interaction between ranibizumab and human RPE cells (ARPE-19). Results indicate that ranibizumab affects the VEGF-A metabolism in RPE cells from an extra- as well as intracellular site. The drug is taken up into the cells, with the VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR-2) being involved, and decreases VEGF-A protein levels within the cells as well as extracellularly. Oxidative stress plays a key role in various inflammatory disorders of the eye. Our results suggest that oxidative stress inhibits RPE cell proliferation. This anti-proliferative effect on RPE cells is significantly enhanced through ranibizumab, which does not inhibit RPE cell proliferation substantially in absence of relevant oxidative stress. Therefore, we emphasize that anti-VEGF treatment should be selected carefully in AMD patients with preexistent extensive RPE atrophy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-216
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.07.2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Ranibizumab interacts with the VEGF-A/VEGFR-2 signaling pathway in human RPE cells at different levels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this