Claus Cursiefen / Felix Bock / Deniz Hos - B 3

Novel therapeutic role of myeloid cell-derived VEGF-C and lymphangiogenesis in resolution of corneal inflammation and reestablishment of corneal transparency

Abstract

The healthy cornea is the avascular “windscreen” of the eye. Pathologic inflammatory ingrowths of blood and lymphatic vessels leads to blindness and increased rejections after subsequent corneal transplantation. Corneal lymphangiogenesis and activated myeloid cells therefore were so far only studied in the “negative” context of inducing diseases such as dry eye, ocular allergy and graft rejection.
In contrast, a physiological function of new corneal lymphatic vessels and myeloid cells has – in contrast to extraocular tissues - not been described. We recently could show an unexpected beneficial effect of IL10 polarized macrophages upregulating VEGF-C on the resolution of corneal inflammation. Furthermore early data imply that isolated lymphangiogenesis can re-establish corneal transparency after injury. These preliminary data strongly suggest the hypothesis of a novel beneficial and therapeutically applicable role of isolated corneal lymphangiogenesis driven by immunomodulatory myeloid cells in the resolution of blinding corneal transparency loss caused by inflammation and injury.
Here we therefore 1. want to better understand the role of M2 polarising cytokines such as IL10 as well as lymphangiogenic growth factors such as VEGF-C/D on the immunomodulatory and lymphangiogenic potential of corneal myeloid cell subsets under normal and inflammatory conditions in relation to lymphatics. Secondly we want to test the novel therapeutic concept of using these “immunomodulatory” myeloid cells and isolated lymphangiogenesis to resolve inflammation and regain corneal transparency.

Clinical/medical relevance and sustainability in disease understanding

In ophthalmology, patients after trauma or chemical burns often suffer from slowly resolving or persisting inflammation with subsequent scarring and transparency loss. This project targets to achieve a novel therapeutic approach to foster resolution of corneal inflammation and re-establish corneal transparency by prolymphangiogenic, macrophage modulating factors and isolated therapeutic lymphangiogenesis. This will open up completely new treatment modalities for several blinding eye diseases.


Prof. Dr. med. Claus Cursiefen

Dept. of Ophthalmology

Prof. Dr. med. Claus Cursiefen

Principal Investigator B 3
Executive Board Member

claus.cursiefen@uk-koeln.de

Work +49 221 478 4300

Eye Center Cologne
Kerpener Str. 62
50937 Cologne

https://augenklinik.uk-koeln.de/zentrum/direktoren-und-teams/

Publications - Claus Cursiefen

Link to PubMed


Dr. med. Felix Bock

Dept. of Ophthalmology

Dr. med. Felix Bock

Co-Principal Investigator B 3

felix.bock@uk-koeln.de

Work 0221 478 98896

Building 13
Kerpener Str. 62
50924 Cologne

Publications - Felix Bock

Link to PubMed


Dr. med. Dr. nat. med. Deniz Hos

Dept. of Ophthalmology

Dr. med. Dr. nat. med. Deniz Hos

Co-Principal Investigator B 3

deniz.hos@uk-koeln.de

Work +49 221 478 98896

Building 13
Kerpener Str. 62
50924 Cologne

Publications - Deniz Hos

Link to PubMed