© 2015 Han et al. Netrins are secreted molecules involved in axon guidance and angiogenesis. However, the role of netrins in the vasculature remains unclear. Netrin-4 and netrin-1 have been found to be either pro- or antiangiogenic factors. Previously, we found that netrin-1 acts as an antiangiogenic factor in rats by inhibiting alkali burn-induced corneal neovascularization. Here, we further investigate the effects of netrin-4, another member of the same netrin family, on neovascularization in vitro and in vivo. We found that netrin-4 functions similarly as netrin-1 in angiogenesis. In vitro angiogenesis assay shows that netrin-4 affected human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) tube formation, viability and proliferation, apoptosis, migration, and invasion in a dose-dependent manner. Netrin-4 was topically applied in vivo to al-kali- burned rat corneas on day 0 (immediately after injury) and/or day 10 post-injury. Netrin- 4 subsequently suppressed and reversed corneal neovascularization. Netrin-4 inhibited corneal epithelial and stromal cell apoptosis, inhibited vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), but promoted pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) expression, decreased NK-KB p65 expression, and inhibits neutrophil and macrophage infiltration. These results indicate that netrin-4 shed new light on its potential roles in treatmenting for angiogenic diseases that affect the ocular surface, as well as other tissues.
Han, Y., Shao, Y., Liu, T., Qu, Y. L., Li, W., & Liu, Z. (2015). Therapeutic effects of topical Netrin-4 inhibits corneal neovascularization in alkali-burn rats. PLoS ONE, 10(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0122951