Background: To examine the effects of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), epidermal growth factor (EGF), and transforming growth factor beta 2 (TGFβ2) on bovine retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell migration and proliferation. Materials and Methods: Cultured bovine RPE cells were treated with 10 ng/ml PDGF, bFGF, aFGF, IGF-1, EGF, or TGFβ2. RPE cell migration studies were performed in multiwell plates confluently covered with RPE cells. After inhibition of proliferation and denudation of half of each well, cells were incubated with various growth factors. Migration was measured as the number of cells that had entered the denuded area after 20 h. RPE cell proliferation was determined by [3H]thymidine incorporation after growth factor stimulation for 24 h. Results: RPE cell migration was significantly enhanced after incubation with PDGF (stimulation of 213% compared to the negative control, p = 0.002), bFGF (206%, p = 0.003), aFGF (175%, p = 0.003), IGF-1 (150%, p = 0.003), and EGF (144%, p = 0.003). RPE cell proliferation was stimulated by bFGF (322% compared to the negative control, p < 0.005), PDGF (119%, p < 0.005), aFGF (121%, p < 0.005), and EGF (94%, p < 0.005). IGF-1 showed no significant effect on RPE cell proliferation; TGFβ2 displayed no effect on RPE cell migration nor on proliferation. Conclusions: The peptide growth factors PDGF, bFGF, aFGF, IGF-1, and EGF play an important role in initiating RPE cell migration. Basic FGF, PDGF, aFGF, and EGF stimulate RPE cell DNA synthesis.

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