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Fenofibrate Inhibits Cytochrome P450 Epoxygenase 2C Activity to Suppress Pathological Ocular Angiogenesis

Journal article
Authors Y. Gong
Z. Shao
Z. J. Fu
M. L. Edin
Y. Sun
R. G. Liegl
Z. X. Wang
C. H. Liu
S. B. Burnim
S. S. Meng
F. B. Lih
J. P. SanGiovanni
D. C. Zeldin
Ann Hellström
L. E. H. Smith
Published in Ebiomedicine
Volume 13
Pages 201-211
ISSN 2352-3964
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Pages 201-211
Language en
Links 10.1016/j.ebiom.2016.09.025
Keywords Fenofibrate, Choroidal neovascularization, Retinopathy, Retinal neovascularization, Cytochrome P450, polyunsaturated fatty-acids, endothelial growth-factor, randomized, controlled-trial, oxygen-induced retinopathy, diabetic-retinopathy, ppar-alpha, choroidal neovascularization, macular degeneration, mouse, metabolites
Subject categories Ophthalmology


Neovascular eye diseases including retinopathy of prematurity, diabetic retinopathy and age-related-macular-degeneration are major causes of blindness. Fenofibrate treatment in type 2 diabetes patients reduces progression of diabetic retinopathy independent of its peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)alpha agonist lipid lowering effect. The mechanism is unknown. Fenofibrate binds to and inhibits cytochrome P450 epoxygenase (CYP) 2C with higher affinity than to PPAR alpha. CYP2C metabolizes omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs). While omega-3 LCPUFA products from other metabolizing pathways decrease retinal and choroidal neovascularization, CYP2C products of both omega-3 and omega-6 LCPUFAs promote angiogenesis. We hypothesized that fenofibrate inhibits retinopathy by reducing CYP2C omega-3 LCPUFA (and omega-6 LCPUFA) pro-angiogenic metabolites. Fenofibrate reduced retinal and choroidal neovascularization in PPAR alpha-/-mice and augmented omega-3 LCPUFA protection via CYP2C inhibition. Fenofibrate suppressed retinal and choroidal neovascularization in mice overexpressing human CYP2C8 in endothelial cells and reduced plasma levels of the pro-angiogenic.-3 LCPUFA CYP2C8 product, 19,20-epoxydocosapentaenoic acid. 19,20-epoxydocosapentaenoic acid reversed fenofibrate-induced suppression of angiogenesis ex vivo and suppression of endothelial cell functions in vitro. In summary fenofibrate suppressed retinal and choroidal neovascularization via CYP2C inhibition as well as by acting as an agonist of PPAR alpha. Fenofibrate augmented the overall protective effects of omega-3 LCPUFAs on neovascular eye diseases. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

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