International journal of ophthalmology

CCR7/p-ERK1/2/VEGF signaling promotes retinal neovascularization in a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy.

PMID 28730075


To investigate the role of CCR7/p-ERK1/2/VEGF signaling in the mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR). Neonatal C57BL/6J mice were evenly randomized into four groups: normoxia, OIR, OIR control (treated with scramble siRNA), and OIR treated (treated with CCR7 siRNA). Normoxia group was not specially handled. Postnatal day 7 (P7) mice in the OIR group were exposed to 75%±5% oxygen for 5d (P7-P12) and then maintained under normoxic conditions for 5d (P12-P17). Mice in the OIR control and OIR treated groups were given injections of scramble or CCR7 siRNA plasmid on P12 before returning to normoxic conditions for 5d (P12-P17). Retina samples were collected from all mice on P17, stained with adenosine diphosphatase (ADPase), and retinal neovascularization (RNV) was assessed. Retinas were also stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) for RNV quantitation. The distribution and expression of CCR7, p-ERK1/2 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were assessed via immunohistochemistry, Western blot, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). High oxygen promoted retinal neovascularization (P<0.05) and increased the number of endothelial nuclei in new vessels extending from the retina to the vitreous body; CCR7 promoted this process (P<0.05). CCR7 and VEGF mRNA were expressed at higher levels in the OIR and OIR control groups than in the normoxia and OIR treated groups. CCR7, p-ERK1/2, and VEGF protein were expressed in the retinas of mice in the OIR and OIR control groups. Intravitreal injection of CCR7 siRNA significantly reduced CCR7, p-ERK1/2, and VEGF expression in the OIR mouse model (all P<0.05). CCR7 significantly enhanced the neovascularization and non-perfusion areas in the OIR group (P<0.05). CCR7 siRNA significantly reduced levels of p-ERK1/2 and VEGF as compared to OIR controls (P<0.05). These results suggest that CCR7/p-ERK 1/2/VEGF signaling plays an important role in OIR. CCR7 may be a potential target for the prevention and treatment of retinopathy of prematurity.

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EHU155731 MISSION® esiRNA, esiRNA human CCR7 (esiRNA1)