Open Veterinary Journal

Open Veterinary Journal

Peer-Reviewed Journal 
ISSN 2218-6050 (Online), ISSN 2226-4485 (Print) 

"Original Research"

Evaluation of pigment epithelium-derived factor concentration in equine amniotic membrane homogenate and its in-vitro vascular endothelial growth factor inhibition effect in tears of dogs with vascularized ulcerative keratitis


Tatiane Villar(1), Ana L. Pascoli(1), Sabal Chaulagain(2), Bahaa A. Fadl-alla(2) and Bianca C. Martins(1,3*)


1- Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL 61802, USA

2- Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL 61802, USA

3- Current address: Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA

Abstract

Background: Corneal neovascularization can result from many pathological processes affecting the ocular surface leading to disturbances and opacifications that reduce corneal clarity and may impact vision. In veterinary medicine, the use of topical corticosteroid is contra-indicated in the presence of ulcerative keratitis, and there is sparse research regarding safe medical alternatives to inhibit corneal neovascularization in dogs to improve visual outcome.

Aim: To investigate the pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) concentration in equine amniotic membrane homogenate (EAMH) and its in-vitro vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibition in tears of dogs with vascularized ulcerative keratitis.

Methods: Homogenates from 10 equine amniotic membranes (AM) were analyzed by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for quantification of equine PEDF and VEGF. Forty tear samples were collected from both eyes of dogs diagnosed with vascularized ulcerative keratitis, and 50 samples from healthy dogs. Samples from affected eyes were allocated to G1 – affected undiluted tears; G2 – affected tears diluted with phosphate buffer solution (PBS); G3 – affected tears treated with low-concentrated EAMH; and G4 – affected tears treated with high-concentrated EAMH. Tears from the unaffected contralateral eyes composed G5, while G6 was composed by tears from healthy dogs (control). The presence and levels of VEGF were evaluated in all groups by western blot and ELISA.

Results: The PEDF:VEGF ratio in EAMH was 110:1. An increase in VEGF levels was observed in tears from eyes with vascularized corneal ulcers (G1) as well as in contralateral tears (G5), compared to normal dogs (G6). High-concentrated EAMH provided greater decrease in VEGF levels in-vitro compared to low-concentrated EAMH.

Conclusion: EAMHs exhibited high concentrations of PEDF in comparison to VEGF and were able to partially decrease VEGF levels in tears of dogs with vascularized ulcers, in-vitro. Our results suggest that VEGF concentration is elevated in tears of dogs with active vascularized ulcerative keratitis in both affected and contralateral eyes, compared to that of healthy dogs.

Keywords: Amniotic membrane, Corneal neovascularization, Dog, PEDF, VEGF.

Cite this paper:

Villar, T., Pascoli, A.L., Chaulagain, S., Fadl-alla, B.A. and Martins, B.C. 2020. Evaluation of pigment epithelium-derived factor concentration in equine amniotic membrane homogenate and its in-vitro vascular endothelial growth factor inhibition effect in tears of dogs with vascularized ulcerative keratitis. Open Vet. J. 10(3), 289-296.