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Ocular angiogenesis, characterized by the formation of new blood vessels in the avascular area in eyes, is a highly coordinated process involved in retinal vasculature formation and several ocular diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, proliferative diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity. This process is orchestrated by complicated cellular interactions and vascular growth factors, during which endothelial cells acquire heterogeneous phenotypes and distinct cellular destinations. To date, while the vascular endothelial growth factor has been identified as the most critical angiogenic agent with a remarkable therapeutic value, the Notch signaling pathway appears to be a similarly important regulator in several angiogenic steps. Recent progress has highlighted the involvement, mechanisms and therapeutic potential of Notch signaling in retinal vasculature development and pathological angiogenesis-related eye disorders, which may cause irreversible blindness.

Citation

Guo-Rui Dou, Lin Wang, Yu-Sheng Wang, Hua Han. Notch signaling in ocular vasculature development and diseases. Molecular medicine (Cambridge, Mass.). 2012;18:47-55

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PMID: 21989947

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