2019 Volume 247 Issue 2 Pages 87-98
Ocular neovascular diseases are featured by abnormal angiogenesis in the eye, and they seriously threaten the human visual health. These diseases include proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), and retinal vein occlusion (RVO). In fact, ocular neovascular diseases represent the leading causes of vision impairment and blindness worldwide. Ocular neovascularization, the process of pathological vessel formation in eye, underlies ocular neovascular diseases. Cytokines have important regulatory roles in neovascularization through immunological networks. Interleukin (IL)-17, the signature cytokine produced by T helper 17 (Th17) cells, has proven to be involved in ocular neovascularization. However, roles of IL-17 in ocular neovascular diseases still remain controversial. This review provides an overview of the functional roles of IL-17 in ocular neovascular diseases from basic research to clinical evidence by focusing on PDR, AMD, ROP, and RVO. The possible roles of IL-17 in neovascularization are achieved through a regulatory network of cytoskeleton remodeling, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), VEGF-related cytokines, and complement components. Current applications as well as potential therapies targeting IL-17 with genome editing systems are also outlined and discussed. Targeting IL-17 might be a promising therapeutic strategy against ocular neovascular diseases.