Prof. R.O. Schlingemann MD PhD


Prof. R.O. Schlingemann MD PhD

Medical Specialist
Main activities
Patient care, Research
Focus of research
  • The role of angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors in ocular angiogenesis, particularly in AMD and diabetic retinopathy
  • The cellular mechanisms underlying loss of the blood-retinal barrier in diabetic retinopathy
  • Identification of new genes and mechanisms of angiogenesis
  • The role of complement activation and the proteasome in retinal pigment epithelium in the early stages of age-related macular degeneration
  • Prospective clinical trials on the use of anti-angiogenic therapy in AMD, diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusions

See also:

Key publications
  • Klaassen Ingeborg, van Noorden Cornelis J. F., Schlingemann Reinier O. Molecular basis of the inner blood-retinal barrier and its breakdown in diabetic macular edema and other pathological conditions Progress in retinal and eye research 2013;34:19-48 [PubMed]
  • Schlingemann Reinier O., van Noorden Cornelis J. F., Diekman Mattheus J. M., Tiller Anna, Meijers Joost C. M., Koolwijk Pieter, Wiersinga Wilmar M. VEGF levels in plasma in relation to platelet activation, glycemic control, and microvascular complications in type 1 diabetes Diabetes care 2013;36 (6):1629-1634 [PubMed]
  • Siemerink Martin J., Klaassen Ingeborg, Vogels Ilse M. C., Griffioen Arjan W., van Noorden Cornelis J. F., Schlingemann Reinier O. CD34 marks angiogenic tip cells in human vascular endothelial cell cultures Angiogenesis 2012;15 (1):151-163 [PubMed]
  • Mitchell Paul, Bandello Francesco, Schmidt-Erfurth Ursula, Lang Gabriele E., Massin Pascale, Schlingemann Reinier O., Sutter Florian, Simader Christian, Burian Gabriela, Gerstner Ortrud, Weichselberger Andreas The RESTORE Study Ranibizumab Monotherapy or Combined with Laser versus Laser Monotherapy for Diabetic Macular Edema Ophthalmology 2011;118 (4):615-625 [PubMed]
  • Sohn Elliott H., van Dijk Hille W., Jiao Chunhua, Kok Pauline H. B., Jeong Woojin, Demirkaya Nazli, Garmager Allison, Wit Ferdinand, Kucukevcilioglu Murat, van Velthoven Mirjam E. J., DeVries J. Hans, Mullins Robert F., Kuehn Markus H., Schlingemann Reinier Otto, Sonka Milan, Verbraak Frank D., Abràmoff Michael David Retinal neurodegeneration may precede microvascular changes characteristic of diabetic retinopathy in diabetes mellitus Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2016;113 (19):E2655-E2664 [PubMed]
All Publications
Research programmes

Prof. R.O. Schlingemann MD PhD (Ocular angiogenesis and Ocular imaging)

Within the Department of Ophthalmology of the AMC, basic research on diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, angiogenesis and fibrosis has been a major research line in the last 14 years. In the last year, our research group has investigated the pathobiological mechanisms underlying the two most important blinding diseases of the Western world: diabetic retinopathy (DR) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Blindness in DR and AMD is caused by vascular leakage, angiogenesis and scarring. However, both DR and AMD have a long but poorly understood pre-clinical phase where the basis for final disease development is laid. Therefore our translational research projects have focussed on the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in both these early stages as in the final blinding processes of vascular leakage, angiogenesis and fibrosis. By a collaborative approach we have studied the following main subjects:

-Cellular and molecular basis of increased microvascular permeability in DR.

-Interactions between endothelial cells, leukocytes and platelets in DR as a cause of capillary loss in DR.

-Role of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and its up- and downstream mediators in the early pre-clinical stage of DR.

-The pathogenesis of fibrosis and scarring as the fional outcome of angiogenesis in proliferative DR and exudative AMD.

-Role of complement activation and the proteasome in retinal pigment epithelium in the pathogenesis of the early stages of AMD.


These studies have led to several important contributions to the field:

- the discovery that polarized secretion of VEGF by epithelia maintains fenestrated capillaries in the normal eye and other tissues

- the discovery that altered vesicular transport via caveolae is an important mechanism of VEGF-induced retinal vascular leakage 

- the discovery that CTGF causes basement membrane thickening in early DR 

- identification of the role of the balance of intra-ocular VEGF and CTGF in the angio-fibrotic switch

Themes: Cardiovascular Diseases, Metabolic Disorders and Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders


F.D. Verbraak PhD

I. Klaassen PhD

I.M.C. Vogels BEng

Current research funding
  • AMC
  • Chengdu Kanghong Biotechnology Co.
  • Covance International Holdings B.V.
  • European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes
  • Europese Unie
  • Novartis Pharma BV
  • ODAS Stichting
  • Oogfonds, voorheen MaculaFonds
  • Roche Nederland B.V.
  • Stichting AMC Foundation (Vrijgesteld)
  • Stichting Amsterdams Universititeitsfonds
  • UMC St. Radboud
  • UitZicht