Both insulin and IGF-1 have been implicated in control of retinal endothelial cell growth, neovascularization, and diabetic retinopathy. To precisely define the role of insulin and IGF-1 signaling in endothelium in these processes, we have used the oxygen-induced retinopathy model to study mice with a vascular endothelial cell–specific knockout of the insulin receptor (VENIRKO) or IGF-1 receptor (VENIFARKO). Following relative hypoxia, VENIRKO mice show a 57% decrease in retinal neovascularization as compared with controls. This is associated with a blunted rise in VEGF, eNOS, and endothelin-1. By contrast, VENIFARKO mice show only a 34% reduction in neovascularization and a very modest reduction in mediator generation. These data indicate that both insulin and IGF-1 signaling in endothelium play a role in retinal neovascularization through the expression of vascular mediators, with the effect of insulin being most important in this process.


Tatsuya Kondo, David Vicent, Kiyoshi Suzuma, Masashi Yanagisawa, George L. King, Martin Holzenberger, C. Ronald Kahn


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