Recombinant thrombomodulin domain 1 rescues pathological angiogenesis by inhibition of HIF-1α-VEGF pathway

Yi Hsun Huang, Cheng Hsiang Kuo, I. Chen Peng, Yi Sheng Chang, Sung Huei Tseng, Edward M. Conway, Hua Lin Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pathological angiogenesis (PA) contributes to various ocular diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinopathy of prematurity, which are major causes of blindness over the world. Current treatments focus on anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy, but persistent avascular retina, recurrent intravitreal neovascularization, and general adverse effects are reported. We have previously found that recombinant thrombomodulin domain 1 (rTMD1) can suppress vascular inflammation. However, the function of rTMD1 in VEGF-induced PA remains unknown. In this study, we found that rTMD1 inhibited VEGF-induced angiogenesis in vitro. In an oxygen induced retinopathy (OIR) animal model, rTMD1 treatment significantly decreased retinal neovascularization but spared normal physiological vessel growth. Furthermore, loss of TMD1 significantly promoted PA in OIR. Meanwhile, hypoxia-inducible factor-1α, the transcription factor that upregulates VEGF, was suppressed after rTMD1 treatment. The levels of interleukin-6, and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 were also significantly suppressed. In conclusion, our results indicate that rTMD1 not only has dual effects to suppress PA and inflammation in OIR, but also can be a potential HIF-1α inhibitor for clinical use. These data bring forth the possibility of rTMD1 as a novel therapeutic agent for PA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7681-7692
Number of pages12
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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