We studied the roles of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in the aqueous during regression of the pupillary membrane in rabbits. Aqueous samples were obtained using a 30-gauge needle passed through the limbus in newborn rabbits. The VEGF and bFGF levels were measured by a quantitative sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The aqueous VEGF levels at 60 days of age (29.0-351.9 with a median of 190.5 pg/mL) decreased significantly compared with those at 12 and 20 days of age (356.7-1148.3 with a median of 752.5 pg/mL at 12 days of age and 193.5-657.7 with a median of 425.6 pg/mL at 20 days of age, Mann-Whitney U Test, P < 0.0001 and P = 0.002, respectively). The aqueous bFGF levels at 60 days of age (0.0-126.2 with a median of 63.1 pg/mL) decreased significantly compared with those at 12 days of age (33.4-301.3 with a median of 167.4 pg/mL, P < 0.0001). Light microscopically, the pupillary membrane at 12 days of age was rich with capillaries that were subsequently closed at 20 days of age, and the membrane itself disappeared at 60 days of age. The aqueous VEGF and bFGF levels decreased in the process of regression of the pupillary membrane, suggesting that VEGF or bFGF played a role in eye development such as maintenance of the pupillary membrane.
- Basic fibroblast growth factor
- Eye development
- Pupillary membrane
- Vascular endothelial growth factor
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