2014 Volume 37 Issue 12 Pages 1986-1989
We have previously reported that treatment of newborn mice with KRN633, a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, delayed retinal vascularization leading to abnormal retinal vascular growth and patterns. To determine whether similar abnormalities are observed in newborn mice treated with other VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors, we administered axitinib to mice on the day of birth and on the following day. When compared with control pups, a significant delay in retinal vascularization was observed in pups treated with axitinib (5 mg/kg). Axitinib-treated pups had a very dense capillary network on postnatal day (P) 6 and fewer central arteries and veins on P8 and P12. Central veins, but not arteries, were significantly enlarged on P8. These abnormalities were similar to those observed in KRN633-treated pups and probably represent a common phenotype induced by short-term treatment with VEGF receptor inhibitors in newborn mice. Therefore, mice treated postnatally with VEGFR inhibitors could serve as an animal model for studying the mechanisms of retinal vascular formation and patterning.