Plasma Kallikrein-Kinin System as a VEGF-Independent Mediator of Diabetic Macular Edema.
ABSTRACT: This study characterizes the kallikrein-kinin system in vitreous from individuals with diabetic macular edema (DME) and examines mechanisms contributing to retinal thickening and retinal vascular permeability (RVP). Plasma prekallikrein (PPK) and plasma kallikrein (PKal) were increased twofold and 11.0-fold (both P < 0.0001), respectively, in vitreous from subjects with DME compared with those with a macular hole (MH). While the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) level was also increased in DME vitreous, PKal and VEGF concentrations do not correlate (r = 0.266, P = 0.112). Using mass spectrometry-based proteomics, we identified 167 vitreous proteins, including 30 that were increased in DME (fourfold or more, P < 0.001 vs. MH). The majority of proteins associated with DME displayed a higher correlation with PPK than with VEGF concentrations. DME vitreous containing relatively high levels of PKal and low VEGF induced RVP when injected into the vitreous of diabetic rats, a response blocked by bradykinin receptor antagonism but not by bevacizumab. Bradykinin-induced retinal thickening in mice was not affected by blockade of VEGF receptor 2. Diabetes-induced RVP was decreased by up to 78% (P < 0.001) in Klkb1 (PPK)-deficient mice compared with wild-type controls. B2- and B1 receptor-induced RVP in diabetic mice was blocked by endothelial nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and inducible NOS deficiency, respectively. These findings implicate the PKal pathway as a VEGF-independent mediator of DME.
Project description:Plasma kallikrein is a serine protease and circulating component of inflammation, which exerts clinically significant effects on vasogenic edema. This study examines the role of plasma kallikrein in VEGF-induced retinal edema.Intravitreal injections of VEGF and saline vehicle were performed in plasma prekallikrein-deficient (KLKB1-/-) and wild-type (WT) mice, and in both rats and mice receiving a selective plasma kallikrein inhibitor, VA999272. Retinal vascular permeability (RVP) and retinal thickness were measured by Evans blue permeation and optical coherence tomography, respectively. The retinal kallikrein kinin system was examined by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Retinal neovascularization was investigated in KLKB1-/- and WT mice subjected to oxygen-induced retinopathy.Vascular endothelial growth factor-induced RVP and retinal thickening were reduced in KLKB1-/- mice by 68% and 47%, respectively, compared to VEGF responses in WT mice. Plasma kallikrein also contributes to TNF?-induced retinal thickening, which was reduced by 52% in KLKB1-/- mice. Systemic administration of VA999272 reduced VEGF-induced retinal thickening by 57% (P < 0.001) in mice and 53% (P < 0.001) in rats, compared to vehicle-treated controls. Intravitreal injection of VEGF in WT mice increased plasma prekallikrein in the retina, which was diffusely distributed throughout the inner and outer retinal layers. Avascular and neovascular areas induced by oxygen-induced retinopathy were similar in WT and KLKB1-/- mice.Vascular endothelial growth factor increases extravasation of plasma kallikrein into the retina, and plasma kallikrein is required for the full effects of VEGF on RVP and retinal thickening in rodents. Systemic plasma kallikrein inhibition may provide a therapeutic opportunity to treat VEGF-induced retina edema.
Project description:Introduction: Plasma kallikrein is a mediator of vascular leakage and inflammation. Activation of plasma kallikrein can induce features of diabetic macular edema (DME) in preclinical models. Human vitreous shows elevated plasma kallikrein levels in patients with DME. Because of the incomplete response of some patients to anti-VEGF agents, and the treatment burden associated with frequent dosing, there is still considerable need for VEGF-independent targeted pathways.Areas covered: This review covers the role of plasma kallikrein in the pathogenesis of DME and the therapeutic potential of plasma kallikrein inhibitors. It discusses early clinical studies of plasma kallikrein pathway modulation for DME, which have been associated with some improvement in visual acuity but with limited improvement in macular edema. This review also highlights KVD001, which is furthest along the development pathway, THR-149, which has recently completed a phase 1 study, and oral agents under development.Expert opinion: Plasma kallikrein inhibitors have a potential role in the treatment of DME, with mixed functional/anatomic results in early clinical trials. Given the large unmet need in DME treatment, further studies are warranted.
Project description:The contact activation system (CAS) exerts effects on coagulation via multiple mechanisms, which modulate both the intrinsic and extrinsic coagulation cascades as well as fibrinolysis and platelet activation. While the effects of the CAS on blood coagulation measured as activated partial thromboplastin time shortening are well documented, genetic mutations that result in deficiencies in the expression of either plasma prekallikrein (PPK) or factor XII (FXII) are not associated with spontaneous bleeding or increased bleeding risk during surgery. Deficiencies in these proteins are often undiagnosed for decades and detected later in life during routine coagulation assays without an apparent clinical phenotype. Increased interest in the CAS as a potentially safe target for antithrombotic therapies has emerged, in large part, from studies on animal models with provoked thrombosis, which have shown that deficiencies in PPK or FXII can reduce thrombus formation without increasing bleeding. Gene targeting and pharmacological studies in healthy animals have confirmed that PPK and FXII blockade does not cause coagulopathies. These findings support the conclusion that CAS is not required for hemostasis. However, while deficiencies in FXII and PPK do not significantly affect bleeding associated with peripheral wounds, recent reports have demonstrated that these proteins can promote hemorrhage in the retina and brain. Intravitreal injection of plasma kallikrein (PKal) induces retinal hemorrhage and intracerebral injection of PKal increases intracranial bleeding. PPK deficiency and PKal inhibition ameliorates hematoma formation following cerebrovascular injury in diabetic animals. Moreover, both PPK and FXII deficiency are protective against intracerebral hemorrhage caused by tissue plasminogen activator-mediated thrombolytic therapy in mice with thrombotic middle cerebral artery occlusion. Thus, while the CAS is not required for hemostasis, its inhibition may provide an opportunity to reduce hemorrhage in the retina and brain. Characterization of the mechanisms and potential clinical implications associated with the effects of the CAS on hemorrhage requires further consideration of the effects of PPK and FXII on hemorrhage beyond their putative effects on coagulation cascades. Here, we review the experimental and clinical evidence on the effects of the CAS on bleeding and hemostatic mechanisms.
Project description:The plasma kallikrein-kinin system (KKS) consists of serine proteases, prekallikrein (pKal) and factor XII (FXII), and a cofactor, high-MW kininogen (HK). Upon activation, activated pKal and FXII cleave HK to release bradykinin. Activation of this system has been noted in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and its pathogenic role has been characterized in animal arthritic models. In this study, we generated 2 knockout mouse strains that lacked pKal and HK and determined the role of KKS in autoantibody-induced arthritis. In a K/BxN serum transfer-induced arthritis (STIA) model, mice that lacked HK, pKal, or bradykinin receptors displayed protective phenotypes in joint swelling, histologic changes in inflammation, and cytokine production; however, FXII-deficient mice developed normal arthritis. Inhibition of Kal ameliorated arthritis severity and incidence at early stage STIA and reduced the levels of major cytokines in joints. In addition to releasing bradykinin from HK, Kal directly activated monocytes to produce proinflammatory cytokines, up-regulated their C5aR and FcRIII expression, and released C5a. Immune complex increased pKal activity, which led to HK cleavage. The absence of HK is associated with a decrease in joint vasopermeability. Thus, we identify a critical role for Kal in autoantibody-induced arthritis with pleiotropic effects, which suggests that it is a new target for the inhibition of arthritis.-Yang, A., Zhou, J., Wang, B., Dai, J., Colman, R. W., Song, W., Wu, Y. A critical role for plasma kallikrein in the pathogenesis of autoantibody-induced arthritis.
Project description:Plasma kallikrein (pKal) proteolytically cleaves high molecular weight kininogen to generate the potent vasodilator and the pro-inflammatory peptide, bradykinin. pKal activity is tightly regulated in healthy individuals by the serpin C1-inhibitor, but individuals with hereditary angioedema (HAE) are deficient in C1-inhibitor and consequently exhibit excessive bradykinin generation that in turn causes debilitating and potentially fatal swelling attacks. To develop a potential therapeutic agent for HAE and other pKal-mediated disorders, we used phage display to discover a fully human IgG1 monoclonal antibody (DX-2930) against pKal. In vitro experiments demonstrated that DX-2930 potently inhibits active pKal (Ki = 0.120 ± 0.005 nM) but does not target either the zymogen (prekallikrein) or any other serine protease tested. These findings are supported by a 2.1-Å resolution crystal structure of pKal complexed to a DX-2930 Fab construct, which establishes that the pKal active site is fully occluded by the antibody. DX-2930 injected subcutaneously into cynomolgus monkeys exhibited a long half-life (t½ ∼ 12.5 days) and blocked high molecular weight kininogen proteolysis in activated plasma in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, subcutaneous DX-2930 reduced carrageenan-induced paw edema in rats. A potent and long acting inhibitor of pKal activity could be an effective treatment option for pKal-mediated diseases, such as HAE.
Project description:A series of macrocyclic analogues were designed and synthesized based on the cocrystal structure of small molecule plasma kallikrein (pKal) inhibitor, 2, with the pKal protease domain. This led to the discovery of a potent macrocyclic pKal inhibitor 29, with an IC50 of 2 nM for one olefinic isomer and 42.3 nM for the other olefinic isomer.
Project description:AIMS/HYPOTHESIS:Many studies have shown that tissue kallikrein has effects on diabetic vascular complications such as nephropathy, cardiomyopathy and neuropathy, but its effects on diabetic retinopathy are not fully understood. Here, we investigated the retinoprotective role of exogenous pancreatic kallikrein and studied potential mechanisms of action. METHODS:We used KK Cg-Ay/J (KKAy) mice (a mouse model of spontaneous type 2 diabetes) and mice with high-fat diet/streptozotocin (STZ)-induced type 2 diabetes as our models. After the onset of diabetes, both types of mice were injected intraperitoneally with either pancreatic kallikrein (KKAy + pancreatic kallikrein and STZ + pancreatic kallikrein groups) or saline (KKAy + saline and STZ + saline groups) for 12 weeks. C57BL/6J mice were used as non-diabetic controls for both models. We analysed pathological changes in the retina; evaluated the effects of pancreatic kallikrein on retinal oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis; and measured the levels of bradykinin and B1 and B2 receptors in both models. RESULTS:In both models, pancreatic kallikrein improved pathological structural features of the retina, increasing the thickness of retinal layers, and attenuated retinal acellular capillary formation and vascular leakage (p?<?0.05). Furthermore, pancreatic kallikrein ameliorated retinal oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis in both models (p?<?0.05). We also found that the levels of bradykinin and B1 and B2 receptors were increased after pancreatic kallikrein in both models (p?<?0.05). CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION:Pancreatic kallikrein can protect against diabetic retinopathy by activating B1 and B2 receptors and inhibiting oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis. Thus, pancreatic kallikrein may represent a new therapeutic agent for diabetic retinopathy.
Project description:The goals of this study were to evaluate the safety of office-based vitreous sampling, and determine the utility of these samples with multiplex cytokine analysis.Vitreous samples were collected from office-based needle aspiration and the rate of adverse events during follow-up was reviewed. The vitreous cytokine concentrations in a subset of patients with diabetic macular edema (DME) were analyzed using a 42 plex-cytokine bead array. These results were compared with vitreous cytokine concentrations in proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) and controls (macular hole, epiretinal membrane, symptomatic vitreous floaters) from pars plana vitrectomy.An adequate volume of vitreous fluid (100-200 ?L) was obtained in 52 (88%) of 59 office-based sampling attempts. The average length of follow-up was 300 days (range, 42-926 days). There were no complications, including cataract, retinal tear or detachment, and endophthalmitis. Two patients (3%) had posterior vitreous detachments within 3 months. Vitreous cytokine concentrations were measured in 44 patients: 14 controls, 13 with DME, and 17 with PDR. The concentration of ADAM11, CXCL-10, IL-8, and PDGF-A were higher in PDR compared with controls and DME. The concentration of IL-6 was higher in PDR compared with controls, but not compared with DME.Office-based vitreous aspiration is safe and yields high-quality samples for multiplex vitreous cytokine analysis. Significant elevations of vitreous cytokines were found in PDR compared with DME and controls, including the novel finding of elevated ADAM11. As such, office-based aspiration is a safe and effective means to identify vitreous factors associated with vitreoretinal disease.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), which is regulated by growth factors and cytokines, is the leading cause of failure in vitreoretinal surgery. In this study, we aimed to investigate the role of the human serum and vitreous inflammation-related factors in the development of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). METHODS:Blood and vitreous samples were obtained from patients undergoing pars plana vitrectomy. Inflammation-related factors were detected using an immunology multiplex assay on a Luminex® xMAP® platform. Patients with PVR and rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) were compared with macular hole (MH) or epiretinal membrane (ERM) patients without any other ocular or systemic disease. RESULTS:Thirty-six serum samples and 34 vitreous samples were obtained. Thirty-one different growth factors and cytokines were detected in serum samples. However, none of the circulating growth factors and cytokines were found to be different from the controls. Ten different growth factors and cytokines were measured in the vitreous samples. The concentration levels of PDGF-AA, TGF-?, VEGF, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF? were found to have significantly increased in the vitreous of PVR patients. CONCLUSION:Our study found that none of the circulating inflammation-related factors were changed in PVR or RRD patients, indicating the absence of a system inflammatory biomarkers to predict the development of proliferative vitreoretinopathy. As a supplement to previous research, the concentrations of PDGF-AA, TGF-?, VEGF, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF? were significantly upregulated in the vitreous of PVR patients. These factors should be considered for preventing PVR.
Project description:Diabetic macular edema (DME) resembles a chronic, low-grade inflammatory reaction, and is characterized by blood-retinal barrier (BRB) breakdown and retinal capillary leakage. Corticosteroids are of therapeutic benefit because of their anti-inflammatory, antiangiogenic, and BRB-stabilizing properties. Delivery modes include periocular and intravitreal (via pars plana) injection. To offset the short intravitreal half-life of corticosteroid solutions (~3 hours) and the need for frequent intravitreal injections, sustained-release intravitreal corticosteroid implants have been developed. Dexamethasone intravitreal implant provides retinal drug delivery for ≤6 months and recently has been approved for use in the treatment of DME. Pooled findings (n=1,048) from two large-scale, randomized Phase III trials indicated that dexamethasone intravitreal implant (0.35 mg and 0.7 mg) administered at ≥6-month intervals produced sustained improvements in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and macular edema. Significantly more patients showed a ≥15-letter gain in BCVA at 3 years with dexamethasone intravitreal implant 0.35 mg and 0.7 mg than with sham injection (18.4% and 22.2% vs 12.0%). Anatomical assessments showed rapid and sustained reductions in macular edema and slowing of retinopathy progression. Phase II study findings suggest that dexamethasone intravitreal implant is effective in focal, cystoid, and diffuse DME, in vitrectomized eyes, and in combination with laser therapy. Ocular complications of dexamethasone intravitreal implant in Phase III trials included cataract-related events (66.0% in phakic patients), intraocular pressure elevation ≥25 mmHg (29.7%), conjunctival hemorrhage (23.5%), vitreous hemorrhage (10.0%), macular fibrosis (8.3%), conjunctival hyperemia (7.2%), eye pain (6.1%), vitreous detachment (5.8%), and dry eye (5.8%); injection-related complications (eg, retinal tear/detachment, vitreous loss, endophthalmitis) were infrequent (<2%). Dexamethasone intravitreal implant offers a viable treatment option for DME, especially in cases that are persistent or treatment (anti-vascular endothelial growth factor/laser) refractory.