Evaluation of the vascular targeting agent combretastatin A-4 prodrug on retinal neovascularization in the galactose-fed dog

Peter F. Kador, Karen Blessing, James Randazzo, Jun Makita, Milton Wyman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose: Combretastatin A-4 (CA-4) is a vascular targeting agent known to rapidly shut off blood flow in new vessels and, as a result, regress neovascularization. In this pilot study, the ability of CA-4 to modify retinal neovascularization, which results in altered retinal vessel blood flow and retinal permeability, was evaluated in aphakic long-term galactose-fed beagles, an animal model that develops diabetes-like retinal neovascularization. Methods: Two (2) groups of aphakic dogs, each group comprised of 4 galactose-fed dogs and 2 age-matched controls dogs, were utilized. Each group initially received the combretastatin A-4-phosphate prodrug (CA-4P) as either sub-Tenon's injections, administered at the corneoscleral junction, or intravitreal injections. Six (6) weeks after this treatment, all dogs also received systemic (intravenous) injections of CA-4P. Retinal vascular changes were monitored at 2-week intervals by fluorescein angiography. Results: All galactose-fed dogs demonstrated the presence of retinal neovascular lesions by fluorescein angiograms. Fluorescein leakage or perfusion through neovascular vessels was not altered by either sub-Tenon's, intravitreal, or systemic CA-4P administration. Whereas CA-4P was well tolerated by the healthy eyes of the control animals, its administration to some galactose-fed dogs was associated with corneal edema and increases in intraocular pressure following sub-Tenon's and intraocular injections. Conclusions: Neovascularization in the galactose-fed dog progresses over a period of years, similar to that observed with clinical diabetic retinopathy. The failure of CA-4P to ameliorate neovascularization suggests that chronic, long-term administration may be required to destroy the slowly growing retinal endothelial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-142
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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