Involvement of Renin-Angiotensin System in Retinopathy of Prematurity – A Possible Target for Therapeutic Intervention

Citation: Nath M, Chandra P, Halder N, Singh B, Deorari AK, Kumar A, et al. (2016) Involvement of Renin-Angiotensin System in Retinopathy of Prematurity - A Possible Target for Therapeutic Intervention. PLoS ONE 11(12): e0168809. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0168809
Published: December 29, 2016

Abstract
Objective: Examining the Retinal Renin Angiotensin System (RRAS) in the ROP neonates and analyzing the possibility of modulating the RRAS to prevent the progression in Oxygen Induced Retinopathy (OIR) model.
Method: Vitreous of ROP patients (n = 44, median age 5.5 months) was quantified for RRAS components, VEGF, HIF-1α and compared with age matched control. The involvement of RRAS in ROP was tested in the rat model of OIR and compared with normoxia. Expressions of RAS components, VEGF and HIF-1α in retina were analyzed using qPCR and retinal structure and function was also analyzed. Effect of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitor (ACEI) and Angiotensin Receptor Blocker (ARB) was evaluated and compared with Bevacizumab which served as a positive control. Drug penetration into retina was confirmed by liquid chromatography coupled ESI-tandem mass spectroscopy (LC-MS/MS).
Results: Multifold increase in the expression of RAS components in human vitreous and rat retina showed their involvement in ROP. ERG & fundus studies in OIR revealed the altered function of retina and were successfully prevented by ARB (telmisartan), ACEI (lisinopril) and bevacizumab. Retinal analysis revealed the presence of ACEI and ARB in their therapeutic levels.
Conclusion: This study for the first time demonstrates the upregulated level of RAS components in human ROP vitreous and further that the pharmacological intervention in RRAS can functionally and structurally preserve retina against the progression of ROP in the OIR model.

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