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Promising protein may prevent eye damage in premature babies

er than those of healthy infants, further suggesting that the protein helps prevent oxygen-induced blood vessel loss and promotes healthy vascular regrowth.

The implications for retinopathy are that IGFBP-3 appears to have benefit in preventing vessel loss independent of insulin-like growth factor-1 in both the mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy and in infants with retinopathy of prematurity, said Lois E.H. Smith, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and senior author of the Harvard study. Supplementation to increase IGFBP-3 in premature infants at risk for ROP to normal levels in utero may prove beneficial in this disease.

Harvard Medical School researchers and collaborators at the University of Goteborg are currently conducting a phase 1 clinical study to evaluate the use of IGFBP-3 in combination with IGF-1 to examine the effects on prevention of retinopathy in premature infants, based on the clinical findings in our study, Smith said. This work suggests that both IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 acting independently help prevent retinopathy.


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Contact: John Pastor
jdpastor@ufl.edu
352-273-5815
University of Florida
18-Jun-2007


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