Fellowship for Albuquerque: Establishing the Role of the Novel Endogenous sVEGFR-2 in Corneal Lymphangiogenesis and Transplant Rejection

  • Ambati, Jayakrishna (PI)
  • Albuquerque, Romulo (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The absence of blood vessels in the cornea, critical to optimal vision, is due to a secreted splice variant of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 (VEGFR-1). The concomitant absence of lymphatic vessels in the cornea supports its immune privilege and contributes to the high success rate of corneal transplants; the most commonly performed solid organ transplantation. However, the molecular basis of an alymphatic cornea remains obscure. In our preliminary studies we established the existence of a novel splice variant of VEGFR-2 (sVEGFR-2) which is constitutively expressed in the cornea. We have also shown, using the Cre/LoxP conditional genetic ablation system, that sVEGFR-2 is an endogenous inhibitor of Iymphangiogenesis during corneal development. Because pathologicallymphangiogenesis significantly impairs the success of corneal transplant, we hypothesize sVEGFR-2 administration will reduce allograft rejection. Therefore, we will study the Iymphangiostatic properties of sVEGFR-2 using clinically relevant models, such as suture-injury induced Iymphangiogenesis and corneal transplantation.O
Effective start/end date7/1/086/30/09


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