Blockade of TREM-1 prevents vitreoretinal neovascularization in mice with oxygen-induced retinopathy

Modesto A. Rojas, Zu T. Shen, Ruth B. Caldwell, Alexander B. Sigalov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In pathological retinal neovascularization (RNV) disorders, the retina is infiltrated by activated leukocytes and macrophages. Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1 (TREM-1), an inflammation amplifier, activates monocytes and macrophages and plays an important role in cancer, autoimmune and other inflammation-associated disorders. Hypoxia-inducible TREM-1 is involved in cancer angiogenesis but its role in RNV remains unclear. Here, to close this gap, we evaluated the role of TREM-1 in RNV using a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR). We found that hypoxia induced overexpression of TREM-1 in the OIR retinas compared to that of the room air group. TREM-1 was observed specifically in areas of pathological RNV, largely colocalizing with macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) and CD45- and Iba-1-positive cells. TREM-1 blockade using systemically administered first-in-class ligand-independent TREM-1 inhibitory peptides rationally designed using the signaling chain homooligomerization (SCHOOL) strategy significantly (up to 95%) reduced vitreoretinal neovascularization. The peptides were well-tolerated when formulated into lipopeptide complexes for peptide half-life extension and targeted delivery. TREM-1 inhibition substantially downregulated retinal protein levels of TREM-1 and M-CSF suggesting that TREM-1-dependent suppression of pathological angiogenesis involves M-CSF. Targeting TREM-1 using TREM-1-specific SCHOOL peptide inhibitors represents a novel strategy to treat retinal diseases that are accompanied by neovascularization including retinopathy of prematurity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2761-2768
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Neovascularization
  • Retinopathy
  • SCHOOL model of cell signaling
  • TREM-1 peptide inhibitors
  • Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Blockade of TREM-1 prevents vitreoretinal neovascularization in mice with oxygen-induced retinopathy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this