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Journal of Translational Medicine

Open Access

Vascular endothelial growth factor genetic polymorphisms and susceptibility to age-related macular degeneration in Tunisian population

  • Imen Habibi1,
  • Imen Sfar1,
  • Fedra Kort2,
  • Ahmed Chebil2,
  • Rim Bouraoui2,
  • Rim Limaiem2,
  • Salwa Jendoubi-Ayed1,
  • Mouna Makhlouf1,
  • Taïeb Ben Abdallah1,
  • Khaled Ayed1,
  • Leila El Matri2 and
  • Yousr Gorgi1
Journal of Translational Medicine201210(Suppl 3):P21

Published: 28 November 2012


Vascular Endothelial Growth FactorBevacizumabOptical Coherence TomographyVascular Endothelial Growth Factor LevelSerum Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor


Major genetics factors for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) have recently identified as susceptibility risk factors, underlying the role of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) system in AMD [14].


Our purpose was to determine whether (VEGF) gene polymorphisms play a role in either susceptibility risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) serum VEGF levels (s-VEGF) variations and treatment with intravitreal bevacizumab in Tunisians.


The case-control study included 157 patients with AMD and 207 age-matched controls. In all patients, ophthalmological examinations, visual acuity, optical coherence tomography (OCT), fundus photography and fluorescein angiography were performed. Sixty-two patients were treated with intravitreal bevacizumab. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping (+936 C>T, +405 C>G and -2578 A>G) were performed using direct sequencing. The serum VEGF was assayed by ELISA (R&D).


The single SNP +936 TT and +405 CC genotypes were significantly higher in AMD patients than in controls (p=0.018 and p<10-3, respectively). Haplotype analysis of SNP+936, +405 and -2578 revealed that TGA was associated to exudative form of disease (p<0.0001). However, single allele, genotype and haplotype association analyses showed no significant association with s-VEGF levels variations, clinical forms of AMD or better outcome for distance and reading visual acuity after three bevacizumab injections.


Our results show that VEGF variants do contribute to the susceptibility to AMD in Tunisian patients. Further expression studies are needed to investigate the potential pharmacologic role of these variants in antiangiogenesis therapy.

Authors’ Affiliations

Research Laboratory of Renal Transplantation and Immunopathology (LR03SP01), University Tunis El Manar, Charles Nicolle Hospital, Tunisia
Oculogenetic Research Unit, Dept. B of Ophtalmology, Hedi Rais Institute of Ophthalmology, Tunis, Tunisia


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© Habibi et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.