IL-1-dependent ncRNA-based-therapy approach to enhance the bioactivity of endothelial progenitor cells in ischemic retinopathy: a new vasoprotective strategy

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is the leading cause of blindness in premature neonates. ROP is associated with inflammation largely mediated trough interleukin (IL-1), which triggers an initial critical phase of ocular vascular degeneration. ROP is also an excellent model of ischemic retinopathies in general. The formation of new blood vessels after tissue ischemia is not only restricted to local endothelial cell proliferation, but lately shown to involve endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) capable of forming a neovascular network on their own.