Therapeutic Potential of a Monoclonal Antibody Blocking the Wnt Pathway in Diabetic Retinopathy

  1. Jian-xing Ma1,2
  1. 1Department of Cell Biology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  2. 2Department of Physiology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  3. 3Department of Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  1. Corresponding author: Jian-xing Ma, jian-xing-ma{at}


Dysregulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling contributes to the development of diabetic retinopathy by inducing retinal inflammation, vascular leakage, and neovascularization. Here, we evaluated the inhibitory effect of a monoclonal antibody (Mab) specific for the E1E2 domain of Wnt coreceptor low-density lipoprotein receptor–related protein 6, Mab2F1, on canonical Wnt signaling and its therapeutic potential for diabetic retinopathy. Mab2F1 displayed robust inhibition on Wnt signaling with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 20 μg/mL in retinal pigment epithelial cells. In addition, Mab2F1 also attenuated the accumulation of β-catenin and overexpression of vascular endothelial growth factor, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and tumor necrosis factor-α induced by high-glucose medium in retinal endothelial cells. In vivo, an intravitreal injection of Mab2F1 significantly reduced retinal vascular leakage and decreased preretinal vascular cells in oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) rats, demonstrating its inhibitory effects on ischemia-induced retinal neovascularization. Moreover, Mab2F1 blocked the overexpression of the inflammatory/angiogenic factors, attenuated leukostasis, and reduced retinal vascular leakage in both early and late stages of streptozotocin-induced diabetes. In conclusion, Mab2F1 inhibits canonical Wnt signaling, vascular leakage, and inflammation in the retina of diabetic retinopathy models, suggesting its potential to be used as a therapeutic agent in combination with other antiangiogenic compounds.

  • Received March 13, 2011.
  • Accepted May 11, 2012.

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