Inhibition of pathological retinal angiogenesis by the integrin αvβ3 antagonist tetraiodothyroacetic acid (tetrac)

Takeshi Yoshida, Junsong Gong, Zhenhua Xu, Yanhong Wei, Elia J. Duh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Retinal angiogenesis is a major cause of blindness in ischemic retinopathies including diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity. Integrin αvβ3 is a promising therapeutic target for ocular angiogenesis, modulating the pro-angiogenic actions of multiple growth factors. In this study, we sought to determine the effects of the integrin αvβ3 antagonist tetra-iodothyroacetic acid (tetrac) on the angiogenic actions of VEGF and erythropoietin (EPO) in cultured human retinal endothelial cells. In addition, we investigated the effect of tetrac and a nanoparticulate formulation of tetrac on retinal angiogenesis invivo, in the mouse oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) model. Tetrac inhibitory activity was evaluated in human retinal endothelial cells treated with VEGF and/or EPO. Endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and tube formation were assessed, in addition to phosphorylation of ERK1/2. For the studies of the oxygen-induced retinopathy model, C57BL/6 mice were exposed to 75% oxygen from postnatal day (P)7 to P12, and then returned to room air. Tetrac and tetrac-nanoparticle (tetrac-NP) were administered at P12 and P15 by either intraperitoneal or intravitreal injection. Retinal neovascularization was quantitated at P18. Tetrac significantly inhibited pro-angiogenic effects of VEGF and/or EPO on retinal endothelial cells, indicating that the angiogenic effects of both growth factors are dependent on integrin αvβ3. Retinal neovascularization in the OIR model was significantly inhibited by both tetrac and tetrac-NP. These results indicate that the integrin αvβ3 antagonist, tetrac, is an effective inhibitor of retinal angiogenesis. The ability of tetrac to inhibit the pro-angiogenic effect of both VEGF and EPO on retinal endothelial cells suggests that tetrac (and antagonism of integrin αvβ3) is a viable therapeutic strategy for proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental eye research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Angiogenesis
  • Erythropoietin
  • Integrin αvβ3
  • Oxygen-induced retinopathy
  • Retinal endothelial cells
  • VEGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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